Experiment #71: When it rains, you might notice a collage of confetti’d water altering your view. Walk toward your nearest window. Preferably the one beneath the hardest-working cloud. Stitch your eyes into one of the drops collecting your attention. What colors do you see? Green. Faded red. How cold is the window and how does your body react when you touch it?
Remember that time you cried so hard that one of your lungs pushed its way up to beneath your rib cage and your chest grew taller? And your breaths felt as though they were imprisoned or housed inside a barred fist. It was springtime. Remember? And everyone around you was dry. It’s like your body had become this cloud of salt raining over your limbs.
Beneath the curtains of your body is every weather pattern that ever existed and a hybrid of several that we aren’t used to seeing together. Open that window. I know it’s cold; yes, it is wet too. But just slide it up and scream out your weather pattern. Scream out your temperature. Your precipitation. Allow the air to breathe you in.
It happens like an unexpected tap on shoulder. You are walking or riding your bike. You are engaging with the outdoors in some way. Perhaps your jacket is unzipped. You left your scarf at home. If you are wearing a hat, it is only because your hair got lost and has been traveling in opposite directions, not to keep your scalp warm. You are lost in the language of clouds that you are either humming toward or meditating with.
You feel a drop. Maybe two. It’s Brooklyn, so that drop could be the wind pushing someone else’s spit against you or a pigeon excreting its breakfast onto you.
Then the drops turn into many and more and faster and harder and there are no more individual clouds. You look up and the sky has unzipped just like your jacket. You are about to turn mad until you realize how beautiful all this is.
This rain becomes your lover for the afternoon, showering your skin with so many kisses, that you grow giddy. Your clothes become a new layer of flesh. You skip, splashing in puddles, pick up leaves that bathe in this spring moisture. Your bones want to push out from beneath its protective layer and play along. This is when you start to dance. Maybe sing. Definitely holler toward the peeking moon.
In the summer, all of this will get even louder and hotter and this free bath will be even better.
For now, this is spring and this rain is meant to wash winter’s footprints away. It is meant to summon the flowers, planted months earlier. Reawaken the trees and hibernating animals and humans.
The day begins with rain. The sky breathes in and out and in. We walk toward the scent of roots and earth. Notice the radishes and it is too late for kale now but that broccoli is something to write poems about. Basil. Beans. When you pop perfectly-circled cherry tomato into mouth, there is a pop. You purchase a small basket of multi-colored tomatoes from a hippie with a tattoo of words from her grandmother. A loaf of bread for later. Some peaches. How beautiful is this. How much will this day cost and what about that time we cried on half of a hill on a Sunday because all of it was ending. But the vegetables never abandon us. We can always rely on the growing pattern of farmers and seedlings to last past love.
That rain out there sounds like applause. The leaves and traffic, scattered grass and monogrammed concrete are all performing stunningly tonight. An encore suggests the city listeners are appreciative. The ones with the box seats are the poets, the fearless squirrels latching onto plaid-pattered screens, pigeons with slippery wings and breath of barbecue steam. Deep inside that puddle beneath your window, a curl floats like an emaciated tugboat. Engine of railroad lineage. Propeller curves and footnoted presence in books and dream sequences. This does not have to be a tragedy. Nor will there be a prologue or feast of sequels. Each storm is its own language. Also inside that puddle is a limb. Cannot call it arm or third of leg. It is collaged and hungry, sipping on rainwater from imaginary straw made of molecular mosh-pit. There is a table of contents decoupaging the skin. How lovely how odd how wet this all is and then clothes come off because synthetics leave too many imprints and reminders of factories. The earth desires nudity, so it drenches; it floats umbrellas away from wrists and curled fingertips. This should be a performance. This should induce romanticism. We should be triggered by its miasmic reminder of the last time.
Black licorice is an acquired taste but sometimes, so is laughter. Sometimes we are asked questions that resemble excavators, digging at the pulp in our brain. You want to know you want to know you want to know. The rain can be a weapon or a home invader and if you fear the sound of its haunt, my body can become umbrella-like. I hear your traveled torso blushing and it is a bay like your homeland, salty and oceanic. Humans interview each other to let go of costumed memories. How about I tell you of the time I lit a year of my life on fire outside of my studio apartment and snorted the air which reeked of battery-operated oxygen. How about you tell me why I cannot seem to stop wondering how wonderful this all is. Two days ago, rain and beer-battered poetry and Colorado lovers lusting on each other’s bones and days before that: a trombone and ukelele duet and an opossum screamed into the air by a white man and you called my skin alabaster.
Cellos can be flesh eating when held upright. I want to write a poem from my body. Done before. No. I want to write a poem from the point of view of blood gurgle or lung expansion or the tilt of thighs when handled by another. I want my body to verbalize how it feels when someone walks inside it. Rain drops on window’d eyes; blink blink blink away the sky ejaculate or welcome in welcome in its beautiful aggression. Bangs may only be worn by those who are straight-follicled. Percussion can be learned by excessive practice; bang against bang forward bang in a pattern body begs to be bruised in. Call that the music of skin changing colour. Harmonize the salt the drip the toe crunching the scars that make the others not want you like that the callus the wrist bone the boners the turn-on of heart when heart loses battery the arrival the arrival you are arriving, right? Right. Take out your ukelele. Bring it outside. The rain will pause when you search out a shadow burly enough to call umbrella. Now play. Now sing. Now call out your love letters to the only one who has remained past the past.
I do not excuse myself as I pop pills of poetry beneath my tongue. No one is watching or everyone is and does it matter now. In a perfect square room with exposed brick and wine, it rains drunk shards of split open metaphors and memoir’d memories. Outside, the rain reminds us how we appear from within.
When poets flirt, they get louder or announce masturbation preferences or they drizzle their drunk against listeners’ lips. A woman licks the left side of my neck and calls it a poem. The rain washes her off of me as Brooklyn is mopped clean by the leaking sky.
Call it perspective. How easy to float away as puddles form like flattened kayaks offering to take you away take you away. The poems end and umbrellas fail us, so we put pages in pockets and thrust waterproof protection toward the wind and traffic. Is this love or inebriation from words and rhythm. How lustful is Lorca. How brash is Bukowski. I gather my goods of ink and bloodied notebook, with petals picked from Prospect Park hiding in the middle. Those petals are poems too for the one in need of less paper and more skin.