Clouds of Glazed Orange Marmalade

Elongated hands and fingers
extend into clouds
of glazed orange marmalade;
upper draft winds metamorphose cumuli
into long necked alpacas gliding
towards mountains near dark,
until their silhouettes vaporize;
no sound comes forth, only the scent of the night.

Clouds, shadows of mountains,
inhale cold curves and edges of heat
rising from ridges and valleys
oscillate into high cirrus clouds;
pure white tufts of mare’s tails,
curly ringlets stolen from young girls
licking ice crystals, playing hopscotch
spurred on by the wind.

In a small village, called Dug Dug
locals pray for rain
carrying a blue statue of Guadalupe
towards the mists of Mount Ñuñurco
their sturdy, squat bodies
weary of straining and failing crops
sing a lilting song joined by rockets
a shrill cry invoking far away clouds.

That night a cumulonimbus, a thunder cloud,
cracks the sky wide open.
I duck down, breathe carefully, count until ten
stretch my limbs toe to toe
and listen to the hard rain crash on my roof.

Clouds, such a common name,
they remind me of freshly laundered
white sheets, oblivious, that they too
were soiled and creamy
before scrubbed and washed.