Wednesday, April 11, 2012


What is there to say of this water,
of nights when the rain beats down hard,
falling straight and sideways
all at once? It is a drum
spurring you to battle,
its beat coursing through your veins:
April! stand ready with mop, or pen, or paddle.
Rivers rip trees from their roots,
maneuvering their sodden trunks through torrents
twisting and gushing,
tearing through a landscape of tattered browns and grays.
At home I sleep with the windows cracked open,
half-aware of the violence outside,
knowing, even as I sleep
that birth is a kind of violence; spring a kind of birth.
Slushy snow clings to the shadows,
tendrils of green nudge through the tamped down leaves;
the world is birthed in water, dripping, gushing, pooling under every rock.
One night we gathered,
drawn together from all directions,
each following lines on the map
that led to one street, one building.
We rushed through the downpour,
and leapt over puddles, laughing,
hugging in the doorway -- wet arms, wet hair.
We danced the rain off,
shook like wet dogs to drums that pounded
more loudly than the rain against the roof,
and later, when it was over, when the room
smelled like the inside of a tent,
warm with human bodies,
we stood under the awning on the sidewalk,
our ears still ringing,
marveling at the volume of water pouring from the black sky.

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