I stood in the rain many times, but I never
turned into a fish. Mouth open to catch
the warm drops, I swore I could hear
the ocean when I put my ear to the bank.
But it was just mud crying to be a man.
Never let it trick you into taking its hand.
Once it leads you to the loam world, where
everything is soft and despair is too stove
up to chase you with its belt, you’ll never
want to come back. Swimming through
the thick soup of air with no particular
place to go. When the fog came,
I’d stand on the levee and call my father’s
name, but he never opened the bridge.
It was just me and the mudcats flopping
down below, the dumpgulls gorging.
They say in the big city, somebody steals
the rain before it hits the ground. We drove
through Memphis on the way to the hospital
where they told me my brain was broken.
It hasn’t rained since then, not really.