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Explain: Rain 

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Sometimes mist sparkles
your morning skin. Sometimes like a sheet on the line
it snaps against the house. Sometimes clouds blacken
& the afternoon air stills & straight down
the sky spills. Sometimes
driving one godforsaken prairie highway or another
you might off in the distance see
a thousand thin blue ropes let down
only to burn before they reach the dry hills.
Sometimes street-puddles sheen gasoline,
& all day like sick rivers the gutters run,
& you wonder & should know
where it all goes. Sometimes through a gray hole
a cup of sunlight pours. Sometimes an unremembered
melody rings on the roof. Sometimes the day itself
forgets, & at dawn the darkness lifts
for another darkness—watery, abstruse, the sky's steelwool
scratching at the undersides of your wrists, the worried corner
of the eye. Sometimes a day-after-day heat builds
on your back, & in the night you wake,
the city throbbing, miraging, blue-red wings of siren light,
& you wonder if it's ever going to break—
& then it does, those first fat drops like cool, hard kisses,
& you're a kid again, tipping your chin to the sky. Oh, it's not much,
but like talent or challenge or even good luck I hope it for you—
that one April evening, walking the river-path back from the cafe,
someone you love, someone whose damp hair smells to you
of grass & rocks & warm animals, will take your hand
as you run for the shelter of a dogwood, the rain falling hard
& harder, stripping the flowers, which will become as well
a kind of rain, blossoms crashing down around you.


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