By: Alex Deramo
Something about Rain
The first growl of thunder chases us upstairs
Water already leaking through the forgotten crack, we push open my bedroom window,
Letting the fierce cry of rain into the quiet of my room
A simple summer shower would never spray into our faces like this
Perfect, pattering rain, falling exactly where it should
So close I could touch,
Yet remaining separate: two worlds divided by my white windowsill
But this storm is relentless, taunting, as it shouts promises of chaotic ecstasy
An unruly child, untamed, dancing recklessly before our squinting eyes.
This storm is not afraid to tug at our hair and draw us further out onto the roof.
We’re soaked, the water drips into the crevices of my friend’s pajamas, my shower cap,
Onto the towels we laid out beneath us
We had laughed, joked, as we jumped onto my bed and opened the window,
But that was before we saw the lightning
Now, all humor is discarded,
My silly shower cap cast aside and forgotten.
We abandon the comfort of my room, screaming out into the roaring thunder
Our midnight courage has us laughing up at the sky
It is truly reverent,
Two non-believers relishing in the touch of what could only be the divine.
How beautiful, to shed the kind of light that paints the whole night sky.
A veil of fog lies upon my city
Their faces a windowless facade,
The masked men march along a practiced path
A ribcage of tailored wool in navy, black, or gray has bound itself to their bones,
Lavish fabric constricting with each passing day
The dense, damp, walls that drifts down between each person are dividing, suffocating, enshrouding
The men travel alone, lingering in the shadows of concrete and steel
My city can be cold; unforgiving and jealous as a woman scorned
But I see her in the crowds that envelop the little girls in a mother’s embrace,
Who look down and walk fast upon her cracked streets,
Far away from the touch of a faceless man,
Waiting on the sidewalks outside their schools
Some days the haze is choking, pressing on my chest and I can no longer breathe
I feel my city’s knowing gaze in the clear eyes of a woman, stopping to ask if I’m lost,
And amongst the masked men around us,
“Stay safe, kid,” she whispers
My Father’s Daughter
I savor his every word
Summer skin hot to the touch, our recumbent bodies shining with sweat
The bucket of ice between us melts with every slow breath we take
Soon to be gone, but still he talks,
Still I listen
I am my father’s daughter
My languid lips form a witty comment, something I know he would say
I let my eyes close, and in that moment, it seems almost effortless.
His friends laugh and tell me we’re just the same
My sun-addled brain soaks up each word,
Pink cheeks flushed with innocent pride
I lean forward as if I’d never heard his story before
As if I couldn’t recite every word,
I am my father’s daughter
I shift, the prickle of dry grass a reminder of the too-thin blanket we lay on
I know what their laughter will sound like before I hear it pour out of their open mouths
Sweet like Cherry Coke and midnight kisses.
But I laugh, too