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November 14, 2022

Hurricane Party

Alex Gurtis

When Florida is in retrograde 

it floods. When I am in retrograde 

I drink. I’m always walking backwards 

when I’m anxious. 


On the eve of Hurricane Ian’s arrival 

I decide I need a haircut 

because god knows 

when I’ll get another.


I joke with my barber that mullets 

are making a come back 

as a category three

in the back, a category five 

in the front. He laughs. 

He was a good barber 

before the storm. 


Yesterday, the line at Target stretched 

to the food aisle. I went looking

for toothpaste and bananas 

and walked backwards out of the store 

with a bottle of wine. 


Driving down Mills 50 

a shirtless man as cracked as the sidewalk

juggles a baseball, football, and basketball. 

He flashes an all American smile. 

Fate is making my stomach hurt. 

An egret perches on top of a black sedan 

asking me for fish. The rain clogs a drain. 

Sanibel has gone missing and all I want to think 

about is how to make a raft 

or conversely turn myself into one. 


At the coffee shop, I show Nate 

a video of the runner and he says he looks 

like Brad Pitt 15 years ago. 

We drink our coffee black 

as our wives talk about 

the silence after the storm

but before linemen restore the grid.