August 3


This day the rain comes with a rhythm
in minion with the movement of boats
lashed on the mauve river.
Two boys flee the court, slapping shoulders
at the touch of oceans in cycle, something warm
waiting at home on the stove. The little boils are like crowds
rushing from catastrophe, granulated countries
falling remote from the sky. The rain suggests
hungers to come, empty spaces after the passing
of crows, or friends and their laughter over diner and wine.

I remember coming down from the mountain
with dew on my eye lids to grieve on an empty village,
where men with mad lights in their eyes
blink in the grass, fish tails half-chewed in their mouths.
They tell deep water tales. They recall clinquant
idioms that fell into the carpet of long, wooden
halls like dead pollen, in capitols where hands
open and close like cathedral doors.
They smell of hard rain and smoke.

I see a man with an empty can
and slippers departing the gardens with a shaking
head and a glass of old wine and marks
on his face where monsters scraped for his tongue.
His skin is a ferocity of pits and he works stones
from his mouth with a shoe horn
to plop into the puddles like plums.
He waits in a cellar for someone
to trim his nails, coach his ignorance
with the language of agora
and fossils. He watches a thin set of fingers feel
beneath the door, and then the story ends as all
good stories must with a promise of love, the sound
of an opened door, an apple half-eaten,
and moonlight shattered
on the street by a foot.

Yes, the clouds come with rain the color of blood.
I see a man raise his mouth to the fury and laugh.
I recall the boys, the madmen, those old cities
where stories are told over food and wine
and friends wave goodbye under their
umbrellas and disappear into the rain
and the gardens.

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