Dark Rains Here and There


When she was a girl in Myanmar
the dark rains fell
suddenly in great sheets
of water and sound
in the heated afternoons.
Thunder would rattle
the tin roof and the kitchen
would often flood.
When the dark rains fell on Myanmar
she lived in poverty beneath
the tyranny of a state
beyond redemption.
When the dark rains fell on Myanmar
the sky gave up its color.
Shadows would disappear
for there would be one great shadow
covering everything.
When she was a woman in San Francisco
the dark rains would fall slowly
and steadily for days at a time,
turning the pastel houses gray
beneath an even grayer sky.
When the dark rains fell on San Francisco
the tires of passing cars hissed
endlessly on the wet pavements.
When the dark rains fell on San Francisco
she lived with passion and belief
and drug-fueled flights to worlds unfathomed.
When she was a wanderer in space,
the dark rains fell many ways
on many different worlds.
When the dark rains fell
in the labyrinth of canyons
that laced the southern hemisphere
of Epsilon Eridani Nine,
they danced this way and that
in constantly shifting whirlpools of wind.
When the dark rains fell in the light gravity
of Fomalhaut’s only habitable moon,
it was in large limpid drops
clinging to the cilia and limbs
of overarching trees.
When the dark rains fell
on many different worlds,
here and there,
she learned to live with love
bright as a rocket’s flare
and loss deep as a singularity.
When she was a señora
in the high Mexico desert,
in the steady days
of her peace and resolution,
she would stand at the screen door
just before dusk.
She would listen to the insects ticking
against the dusty metal crosshatch
and watch the light
from a low red sun
encroaching on the deep shade of the porch.
When the sky remained cloudless
on the high desert,
when life seemed dry and spare
as the land around her,
she found herself watching
for one more dark rain
she could walk in.
Appeared in my collection Dark Matters (Bad Moon Books, 2010)