Lightning raked the blackened sky with magma-colored, crow-footed veins of twisted light while the spirited wind crashed through the trees and swept the loose leaves from the corners of the yard, throwing some in the pool and others into the neighbors’ yards while whipping the ragged and decayed limbs from the moribund cottonwood and spattering them across the lawn and into the trampoline’s net. Bougainvillea leaves bright cranberry red and purple flying up beyond the palm branches and away into the raging night, blown with dust and fright in the wind as it whips into the rooftops and against the windows and patio-covers. The streetlights dance to and fro as they are pummeled by the strange and infrequent visitor as their golden skirts move in chaotic rhythms that match their swaying…undulating hips of light-pole dancers. The pool motor hums a lighter tune as the filter consumes its debris and fills its roiling stomach, pulsing water through its joints as the pressure rises while lawn chairs scamper across the pool deck with their plastic feet tap tap clacking and dive akimbo into the dark waiting water where they float like drunken manikins, bobbing in the wake and wind and fighting against the vacuum as it absently strains to make its circuit along the walls; spit is flung from the night sky as it talks excitedly with its booming and flashing mouth, marking the banished cars with dusted spots and splashes that belie the storm, evidence of what didn’t occur despite the howling and boasting of the wind. New palm branches are bent and cracked against their moorings, flailing like disjointed limbs on crash-test dummies as their bindings strain against the poles and trunks, yawning and receding and jumping with raised hands and flung hair, this way and that way, up and down, against the wall and down to the ground, slashing and crashing back and forth with tangled strands, bending and folding and creasing stalks and stems rocking and pulling roots against the new dirt and old; and birds’ nests from the older palms take flight on their own and crash empty in the uncaring rocks and dirt and scat and wind-trash in their yard or others’ beyond and people come out to marvel at the fierceness and might, trembling with joy and excitement at the storm that finally arrived, some curse the destruction and mess while others sing and dance in their wonder, rocking on porch swings and laughing to each other over the chimes that bong and tinkle and resound in their discordant melodies like mendicant musicians tuning their instruments for an alleyway symphony.