Poem: When I Say I Love the Rain – 14 June, 2021

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
Rain falling outside my apartment.