After a fairly unproductive day, I ate a small dinner outside the back of my apartment which is a small slab of concrete upon which there are two small tables, and three chairs. A neighbor was outside a few apartments away. He was on the phone and holding one of his young children. They both went inside shortly after I finished eating. Perhaps they knew the rain was coming.
I felt tired–I always feel tired after eating–so I switched to one of the more comfortable chairs. I had brought out several books with me in case I felt like reading. One was W. S. Merwin’s The Rain in the Trees. I didn’t end up reading from any of them, just sat there. It wasn’t long before the light became prematurely dim, the wind picked up, and i felt the first small rain drops hitting the corduroy pants I was wearing. After that, all I remember was sitting there in the rain. Should any neighbors have seen me, I’m sure they’d have been puzzled. Maybe not. Maybe they wear the indifference of suburbia at all times.
When I finally returned inside, a poem had come to me.
When I say I Love the Rain
When I say I love the rain what I mean is I love the sound of the rain the way it rushes down the hiss of the air makes me think of paper or brushes on a snare drum the soft pitter-patter as droplets hit the ground and the leaves the tinkling of metal and the loud thumps on the roof of the car the exhilaration of the crescendo and the feeling of restraint like the world is pulling back when it suddenly begins to get quiet I love the sound of the rain I love the way it feels like there is somehow less space the world has closed in wrapping me up in the thick, cool humidity of it all the small percussions falling on me the way my shirt now weighs down on my shoulders the fibers soaked cling to my body my hair holding water only to soak my neck and drip down my back I love the way rain feels I love the way it smells a rejuvenating thickness which reminds me of the wet leaves in the forest I played in as a child the moss was my carpet the fallen trees my playground my obstacle course I love the way rain smells I love the way it looks how it darkens the skies, darkens the bark of the trees everything smooth glistens and light takes on a soft importance as it relinquishes center stage for once puddles which are just fun mirrors shake with excitement and make the world dance and for a moment everything is broken until stillness comes and settles it all I love the way rain looks I love the taste of rain barely perceptible at it falls on my tongue maybe it's just the air I’m tasting air which cannot be bottled up cannot be labeled and sold which can be polluted but cannot be given an expiration date all things breath and all things need breathe I’m reminded of this as I gasp laughing from the symphony of wet my forehead slick as I try to wipe my face I stand with arms outstretched but I’m swimming swimming through the sounds and smells and the everything of the rain