Perseid Meteor Showers

Monday, September 8, 2014

Here's to the Super Harvest Moon, monsoon rain, and a continuing focus on Tucson poets for the month of September!




Highway Rain

Arizona has a love affair with water.

The desert looks almost out of place in the rain,
it's not accustomed to touch.
Twigs and bark bristle against the slow coup d’état of clouds.
Saguaros stand taller, in challenge, gripping to baked dust.

No one ever told you why -rain is so special here.
It wasn't until you saw the lightening rod place
it’s finger again and again, until you noticed the smell - creosote,
or how all the plants rise up a body rises into a back bend,
or like your hair when déjà vu brushes your neck…

until you saw how humbly the desert drank,
never asking the water if there was someone else,
it wasn't until you noticed the way the desert hummed
sometimes for days afterward.

It wasn’t until you saw steam rise from rocks and stray bits of metal,
until you had to pull the car over because there was nothing but rain.

It was then, stopped halfway between Tucson and El Paso that you knew.

You could never leave the desert. Might move away for years,
but you’d always come back. Your devotion to water
was only made sharper by experiencing it sparsely.

You learned to ignore the slurs, the wrong names…
“Empty,” “dried out,” “barren” and replaced them with “open.”

You learned from the desert, a place rumored to be lifeless
how to live. Smiled when people ‘didn’t get it.’ Didn’t see
the beauty in long stretches of sky and earth.
Some people needed more green and more hills.
And you, you needed more possibilities.

You became a local when you understood it wasn't the rarity of rain.
It was how frantically the sky and earth connected.
Weaving curtains of water and electric bolts between them.
As if shear intensity could counteract the inconsistency.

Rain in the desert was like a show down,
like rage turned into sex
and then love making.
Terrifying –   Beautiful.

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