Words for Wednesday

Rain, First Morning 


Rain falls across the avenues.

What can I say anymore that might be

equal to this sound, some hushed

drumming that stays past the gravelly

surge of the bus. In the apartment complex

a songbird strikes a high glass note above those

rushing to work, uneasy under umbrellas.

Is it they who are meant,

is it me who is meant, my listening,

my constant struggle to live on my terms,

unexemplary, trying always to refuse

anything but the field, the wooden rowboat,

veils of wind in the pine.

Films of gold in my throat as I say out loud

the ancient words that overlay

isolation. And yet I miss stillness

when it opens, like a lamp in full sunlight.

I’m ready to sense the storm before the trees

reveal it, their leaves shuffling

in thick waves of air. I have said to myself

This too is no shelter but perhaps the pitch of quiet

is just a loose respite from heat and loss,

where despite ourselves the rain makes hazy

shapes of our bones. Despite ourselves

we fall silent—each needle of rain hits the ground.

Whoever stops to listen might hear water

folded in the disk of a spine, a river

barely move. A bird ticking on a wire.

I no longer believe in a singing that keeps

anything intact. But in the silence

after the raincall that restores, for a moment

at least, me to my most partial

self. The one content to blur

into the dark smoke of rain.


Picture found here.

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