Aug 172011

Tonight is a simple time of rain. Rare on this California visit, which has been clear and cool every evening, a weatherman’s suicide note written in stars and slow-moving clouds. But tonight there are wet voices, small bodies smashing themselves on the roof to get in, to have a quiet talk. The drops, which disappear on my fingertips, when seen in their steady-state are sweet berrylike beings whittled at their tips, each one hand-carved for the occasion. If I let them in, what would they say to me? Would they wonder how the rainfall inside me stays caught, a bag of water smoking a pipe? I hear, above the muted violence of their splatter, how they are whistling as they come down, firemen down a firepole blowing high-pitched life through their nostrils. When morning arrives and our convocation has dissolved, I walk out a few miles into the clear cool morning. One block over a house has burned down in the night; it is all foundations now, soaked, empty as a blackboard before the teacher hangs up her coat and tucks her damp umbrella between the wastepaper basket and the old metal desk.

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