In Texas, we open windows
for tornadoes; their churning breath
does more damage behind latched glass.
Dust storms are a different story.

Mama mistook the two one summer,
and our insides filled with red dirt,
the stuff of potters’ studios, of cracked yards
and dead grass. No matter

how many times I rotate the earth
under me, I am still saturated with the particles
of places before, a powder so fine
my lungs resist even the effort of a cough.