Holding Rain

We    come     apart,


the meteors of us

      high in the atmosphere,

           flashing across the night sky—


                                                      such lonely arcs.


It seems to me I’ve written much about letting go—of things, of people, of dreams I once possessed before life changed the possibilities, before life changed me so much that I dreamed instead of different things, written too of letting go of even language, words I had claimed as mine, words like wife, words like sister.

It seems to me too that, on this topic, I still have much to learn.

There was rain today that I watched from a window, sudden and fierce, swiftly gone. It plastered the windowpanes, the pumpkins on the front step, the chairs on the porch. It shuddered in the trees and some of them too learned to let go, to give up things, leaves cascading to the lawn, to the roadway, small, water swollen vessels sliding along near the sidewalks before emptying into storm drains.

Bereft of their leaves, and still, today I found the trees no less lovely than I did before the rain. Perhaps I find them even more so, sometimes, when their bare and empty branches reach like arms towards the sky, towards even the smallest slice of sunlight, that palest of yellows hovering in the mornings just below the clouds. The leaves, too, on the ground, their edges curling and yellowed or brown—especially those that were the reddest of reds, small and imperfect hearts lining the lawn—those too were beautiful.

And I thought too of my own heart, holding space in my chest so near to center, my own hands, small boats that, when I was young, would try and hold the rain, the imperfect way they fit together so that the water always inevitably drained out, from between my fingers, from between my palms, from around the sides. It was a lesson, even then—how we don’t love something just because it stays. I couldn’t hold the rain, not really, not then, not now. I could only shape its path for a short time, then let it go.

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