The Bus Stop Bench

One of those days when the rain clouds

Are so low I have to duck to keep my head out of them

And they cover the sun to make morning look like dusk,

Thousands of tiny liquid stars fall to quench the thirst

Of wilting July flowers and lost souls

 

I go outside, coatless, to be watered

Letting the screen door slam shut behind me

In a shower of mist and creaky hinges.

I follow the river-sidewalk to a bus stop bench

With peeling green paint and take a seat

In my star-soaked jean shorts.

I bury my toes in the five inches of turf

Between the bench and the sidewalk

A world for the surfacing pink worms to cross

Where they will shrivel and die when

The sun brings their hot-concrete Armageddon.

 

I absorb the tiny stars in my skin

And my arms and legs and hair become slick

With the gathering galactic water.

Before I never understood why florists spray

The flowers completely if the roots are the part that

Drink, but now I know.

The ricochets of rain pelting my face in the energy of

Each ping of every drop

I sit, covered in diaphanous liquid stars

And I imagine I glow in the gloomy darkness of noon

 

Someone else has joined me at the bus stop bench

To be watered too, I suppose.

He wears a coat with the collar turned up

And a faded Toronto Blue Jays baseball cap

With a frayed brim like laugh lines around a smile

That doesn’t exist anymore

 

The rain only touches his face and his hands, folded

On his lap over wet denim jeans.

I slide over and take his hat off, because I want him to

Feel the tiny stars like I do

He’s startled like someone should be when a stranger takes

Their hat off, and his glare of surprise is brown

Like a cinnamon stick.

He asks me what I’m doing

—You’ll be watered better if you let the rain touch your skin

—What?

—Do it

But maybe he sees that I’m glowing so he takes his coat off

And a grin slowly spreads across a face with a freckled nose

I know he can feel the energy of the stars in his skin too

 

We sit at the bus stop bench in front of a sidewalk

That wriggles in happy fat worms dancing in the stars

But that will be shrivelled and dead this time tomorrow

And everyone else has umbrellas and coat collars and hats

And we have nothing between us and the rain

That feeds maps into our lost souls

Image
Source here!

(Busy busy busy like bees — I have some reviews coming up, and a couple rants to deliver, but for now here’s a poem I wrote in a moment of summer nostalgia. What do you miss most about summer? I’m pining for walks in the rain, can you tell?)

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