Song from the Rain
Outside I hear the steady rain in tiers
first on the tin roof, hitting
like on a buckskin snare, then
it drips, both high and crisp
and from here this sounds
like a hive. The cars streak by
blurring it all. The yellow bus
looks midnight blue. The sound of the rain
is a knocking—relentless and gravity
like something I can’t undo.
Inside the body
the sound is full of mechanics
and pipes and screws. It arrives
early in morning as two lamps
reflect in my dark windowpane.
One lake map (the shape
of something horrible, ragged
in flight and impossible, with ripped
wings) so small in its frame
and the sound of the rain is crossing
that lake in my mind, in a boat
in heavy wind and in rain.
Inside the sound and suddenly
I notice what wanting may be.
I ask what complexity is --
I ask what is joy --
and smaller drips hit what sounds like a stream
fast moving, out from a gutter.
It's nothing that floats, it's rusting
blades on a fan; dumpsters
of stones inside construction sites;
a restaurateur's new shipment of spoons.
The day before me is this rain,
this game of darts where we throw
for speed, we throw for force and
to win. The sound goes softer, now
like soaked skeins of unused yarn,
blue hills, stacks of lost letters,
a thrumming heater, a bass guitar,
a glass of wine. If it gets any softer,
I'll go (I promise myself). But the sound
of the rain makes a war. I'm helpless
against it. I'm like some desperate lover
who runs the length of a state
and then when she opens the door
eyes like a stream, answer
unmistakable. How it falls on me
and it falls on me
like rain, then more.
As I hold up my arms to cover me
as I cover my head in retreat
the water gets everywhere. I run
behind the house, where her garden of phlox
is trampled after so much rain.
Indistinguishable. The purple petals
are lost in weeds of green. The rain
is a quarry and sinking. The rain
is a bathtub alone in a room.
It sounds like consequence.
It ends like steam.