Rain, Again

1.  Love.
          Tangled in the rain,
          a soaking rain,
          the king’s rain,
          working its way down
               from           the sky’s rafters,
          taking care not to make mud,
          not to be part of the first frost.

2.  Rain.
          Doesn’t want to parent plants;
          Doesn’t want to be sealed away in leaf or stem,
               its plant the earth
               its roots the ocean’s deepest trenches—
                    scars left behind when crusty plates parted ways;
          Doesn’t want to know what tearing feels like—
               not a tear in th’eye
               not a root chopped up
                    to make way for
                    the highway it will hit hard
                    as it plummets back to earth
                         bouncing in all directions at once.

3.  Stars.
          Have so much influence
          making rain jealous
          the way they hang up there
               lookin bright
                    here they are now they are
                    miles and miles ago
                    years and years away
               reaching out with pure, cold light
               always traveling at top speed
               never frozen
               not recordable in inches
               not beholden to any sun
                    (they are the sun)
               unaware of gravity
               worthy of telescopes
          imprisoned only by tiny, black holes rain can’t see
          as rain falls to earth looking back out at space
          about to glaze a world still hot with war
               a world not yet cataclysmic
                    but shaky—
               a world on plates
               five choices on rain’s menu
               meteorolgists looking on
               rain trying to prove them wrong.

4.  Clouds.
          From cirrus above—
               ice crystals, a smear of ice cream, the mare’s tail
               swishing in the breeze, waving to the mackerel sky
               not a bad way to be water, until it gets too heavy, and then—
          to cirrus below—
               not ice crystals
               but a slender appendage
               the sea-star’s foot
               a tube, a sucker
               a way to cling to boats
               to burrow down
                    beneath th’ocean
                    beneath the five sliding continents
               to hack into the main flame
               a suicide run
               a way to be burned
               to lose maidenhood, nationhood—
                    its citizenship in the state of liquid;
               to be launched from the geyser
                    as steam
               to return to heaven a gas.

5.  Rain, Again.
          It shouldn’t have to explain itself.
          Icebergs and glaciers are packed with explanations
               (that’s why ice floats on water)—
                    icy words take eons to unwind,
                    sinking ships, sucking in the sea,
                    scouring land to carve hill and valley,
                    picking up a rock and setting it down
                    five miles away, five hundred years later.
          Rain doesn’t need that pressure;
          Rain doesn’t wish to keep cities alive;
          Rain says, One drop more, and my storm might be gone,
               this river would cease to be a river
                    instead: just a pebbled path leading nowhere
                    instead: a desert / dryness not my legacy /
                         not my issue when other rain won’t fall.
               I can’t wait around here on the surface
                    when shrinking aquifers gasp for my presence
                    when ocean trenches fall deeper every second
                         taking me down
                         to the underground sea
                         to the crushed, condensed pearl of nickel
                         that blesses my forehead, magnetizes my members
                         and brings me back
                              once every seven million years.

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