under the sun

Rain is the merging of cool air with warm

under general conditions of humidity. Try to remember

it has nothing to do with love

or grief. This is the consolation of philosophy:

it's out of our hands. The business of bars

and stores, our separate beds, the garbaged

offices of alleyways, is aging. It sighs

in the blood like salt, slows us, and is why

our hearts are heaviest on the moment

of waking: the weight we ferry, the fright,

the long vowel opening at the centre

of a consonant world that draws the hurt up,

an empty bowl, while history's rebar is replaced

and a species coughs its lungs out

in another room. Private lives of insects

and the single notes that move them, hard-won

courage of raccoon and crow who eat our garbage

and hate us, are foreclosed. We are lonely. We

are here. Inside, a vestigial swimmer bears

memory like a phantom pain of when the earth

was new and we were a promise in the sex

of its making, its heat and pools. Cells' random

liquid birth. In the molecular ache of land

as it cooled, when, before property, before

tears, it rained for more than a million years.

Published online March 10 2003.


Sexing the Poem cover image

This piece was published in ‘Sexing the Poem,’ the Spring 2003 issue of CV2.

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