In the Rain
In the rain I stood a leaf detached from its tree by the lake
where I waited aimlessly for your face to appear in the rain.
You were always golden, a shower of insignificant things,
I a Danae, coiled up yet somehow powerless against such rain.
When you talked, words spilled from your mouth like a herd
of flies black, green and shiny as a branch just washed by rain.
Once I left my room, shut the door, wore my green child’s slicker
so I could come to your house and say, Please let me in from the rain.
What did you think then? Your eyes flickered like eagle’s beads
over me or the dice of eager men licked by spit or an indifferent rain.
Then the door slid back on its root and I entered among clocks
and papers to the porch with its ashtray and tin cup filled with rain.
Those are the tears of the world, you said and laughed—as if it was funny:
I think perhaps you have never stood outside all night for someone in the rain.
I think you have never watched a river, say the Hudson, and seen those
lights floating on the water and known your dead were now rain.
You are simple as the child playing with his india-rubber ball, while
I am the darning-needle of this story, borne down her gutter by rain.
Sit down, you said, a grinning death’s head. You must be frozen;
with cold x-ray vision you saw my skin where it lay soaked with rain,
all those hollows of breast and bone, shivering in pricked gooseflesh
that unlike the goose’s was never meant to perfectly dispell rain
nor let me take a few steps off from you and saying nothing
but some inarticulate cries fly sorrowing away in this rain…
Well: those are the kinds of stories that make you yawn and gloat,
kinderlieder for those still amazed by the chthonic power of rain
to sway our moods and mimic our tears or bring forth an enormous
unwarranted heart simply by feeding one rootwork with its rich wet dark.
“In the Rain” appeared as part of a feature on the website Verse Press Younger American Poets.