Margaret Reges




The warm, hollow sound of its breath


Pine needles or the oily breath of pine bringing back the dream; layered, ventricular, venous or dendritic multilayered films of light.

The light behind the eyes as the dream approaches red-blue, and then the capillary bloom of green air, the flat sheet of cloud when the memory turns back on itself and begins again with no sound, as in the dream where the wind is silent.

Horses free of their ropes move in black-grained light, a white horse darkening with mud and dust even as it’s running.

Even as it is running the dream resetting itself as the rope of cloud dissolves and assumes and dissolves.


Even as it is running the dream resetting


The recording sliding backward against the grain of memory contains no or little sound, but the heavy wall collapsing onto the shoulders is only the largeness of sound,

the fine hairs on the arms raised as the sound approaches and a feeling of the legs being pulled upwards, a kind of crackling fullness in the head, a purple spray of glassy light when the head is struck;

you loved the sun-mottled spray of freckles on the shoulders, the soft blonde streaks in the hair, and his breath a cord drawn taut, a cord you follow.

Author’s note: these poems are excerpted from a series about the Moore tornado that swept across Moore, OK, in 2013.

MARGARET REGES is a trained storm spotter, which mostly means she gets to put a cool tornado sticker on her car. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, her recent honors include the 2012 Page Davidson Clayton Prize for Emerging Poets from the Michigan Quarterly Review and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center, the Vermont Studio Center, and the MacDowell Colony. She lives in Iowa City, IA, where she teaches at the University of Iowa.


Read more by Margaret Reges:

Another Moore Tornado poem in B O D Y
Lots of poems at Ink Node