Liz Libbey

The Basement


Down here, the thunder above

ghosts in your ears,


you hear a rush; a surge

from tonight's rain,


drown the tip of one slipper;

lay siege to your dog's paws,


muscle across the concrete floor.

The smell of urine; of mold.

Down here, dark, the power out,

it's easy to think you can feel


all storms in your storm—even, say,

a storm waged, an unnatural storm that rages


weeks, months. So long that you take up residence

beneath a ceiling that shifts, moans with the weight


of close bombardment; a ceiling you try to hold up

with the slim arms of hope. The anthem of your hope,


as you remember, each intimate detail

of up there—the life you lived. The life you can almost


Touch. Is it still there?