She brings it in with her, the rain, clung to the tip of her nose and through her hair so it’s blacker than night. Strips out of her waterproofs till she has shape. Colour, risen high in her cheeks, on the knuckles of her hands. Reveals the desperation of it, crept through zips and openings. Slid a caress down her neck till she bears a collar of its touch. Trails it deeper into the kitchen, Siren kettle a song to sodden socked feet, printing a vanishing trail across the tiles.
We warp in the heat, buckle beneath the buzz of thick cut air pressing in on all sides. Can’t blame trains for stumbling. As unsteady on tracks as we are. Yesterday they seemed straighter, smoother, solid. Today everything is melting, running into gutters. I would stop too. Choke my mixed signals and lurch into whatever station offered refuge. Poem for the hottest July day on record.
The Spring was wet, enough that the trees still look alive above the yellow grass, their roots searching out hidden wells to keep from losing too many leaves. In their shade the heat has baked the ground into a bad ceramic, the glaze already chipped and cracked in this overheated kiln. Camouflaged by brittle stalks the sacrifices go unnoticed, dust to dust, ashes to ashes, the trees can only stand so long.
Tonight I am chasing the cool side of the pillow, almost as elusive as breeze despite the windows with their open mouths panting in the heat. Here, the backs of my knees slide slicked between day fresh sheets too quickly twisted into abandoned heaps, lumps of coal still smoldering at the foot of this bed all while the ceiling fan wheels in slow circles the air curdling into soups so thick it sticks in my lungs like grief I want to scream into the cool side of a pillow until my breath has turned cotton to swamp, until I cannot tell the tears from my sweat and the summer feels a little less like a coffin pressing in on all sides.
‘We’ll have an Indian summer’ he tells me, all confidence and smiles, as the weatherman points out the weather band of rain and thunder storms still yet to reach these shores.
April brings storms that rattle and shudder against windows with winds that howl and whip past the trees. Pressed close enough cheeks can feel fingertips of something, someone not quite there. Pattering and scampering outside along the whirls in the glass traced on the lazy afternoons. In this room, in this house, all gods are welcome. With hands around latches there is no need of prayers to call them here. In the morning the carpets will be spongy, damp beneath feet, and the curtains slick to the touch. Tonight however, calls for bare faces turned upwards open to the skies.
Be it fair or be it wet, sun’s up St. Switun. Forty days of what await?
Between the rainstorms among birdsong and sunlight I can see new lakes.
You tracked mud footsteps across everything I own. You said “this is spring.” I kept Autumn close, wrote to it with summer words- not that winter knew. Summer surprised us, trust England not to expect sunshine in July.
We never measure the worth of just one rain-drop… just the water gauge.