Jessica After The Flood In Pergamino by Julia Knobloch

The Pampa steams, the sun burns down
on a wasteland of mud, mold, mosquitos.
During no more than a few hours, more
than double the average amount of rain
for the entire month fell, fell fell incessantly,
fell on fertile lowlands, fell on a flat surface, and
the river has swollen, risen, invaded, withdrawn
from the streets, the squares, basements and
first floors, playgrounds, parking lots, and
from the garden, where my friend
Jessica sits on a white plastic chair,
in flip flops, shirt, and top, elbows on her knees,
household effects strewn around her on the lawn,
apparently randomly organized, bashful, timid
precious private parts that were never meant to be
exposed so vulnerably, helpless in the bright harsh
Pampas sunlight, for everyone to see and judge—
but they must, otherwise they won’t dry, if at all
they will dry and not rot, with this humidity,
the average percentage for this month is 65%
feels like 85 today, and the average temperature in
Pergamino, which means parchment, is 84.6 degrees
in December, the record high being 104.5,
the mean monthly sunshine hours 285.2.

Floods, fire, famine, beast, sword, and rapes –
plagues do happen in real life.
A woman leaning forward on a chair,
face buried in her hands,
is an age-old image of despair.

Julia Knobloch is a journalist and translator turned project manager and executive assistant. Before moving to New York from Berlin, she worked 10+ years as a writer and producer for TV documentaries and radio features. Her essays and reportage have been published in print and online publications in Germany, Argentina, and the US (openDemocracy, Brooklyn Rail, Reality Sandwich), and she occasionally blogs for An emerging poet, she recently was awarded the Poem of the Year prize from Brooklyn Poets for her poem Daylight Saving Time.

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