Untitled Draft

In Utah’s southern desert
where we lived our last year together

people appreciate the rain
how it comes suddenly — the way

love sometimes comes
without warning

hard and everywhere
and there is nowhere

it isn’t raining — nothing
that is not touched by the rain

and at once the body is fifty pounds
heavier with rain

that perfect balance
of oxygen and hydrogen

moulded into oblong spheres
that stretch color from sunlight

Here when it rains
people stand in the streets

bow their heads and laugh and cry
as water eddies around their ankles

These desert people — our people
know how to treasure the rain

they wait for it
without expectation but hope

and they understand that if it comes
it will come all at once

as if it can’t hold itself back
they understand it will not last long

often only minutes
sometimes an hour

although the old ones know of rain
that has come and staid all afternoon

into the night
and they remember the rivers

that rose up
where no rivers had been

and some of them
the oldest of the old ones

may tell you about a time
maybe the only time

the rain came and stayed
fourteen years

years they will say
that passed like minutes

and lifted houses
shuffled churches like cards

rerouted rivers
carved arches into the rock

flushed the canyons and left
lakes at their feet

fourteen years they will say
that washed half of the state

across the Arizona border
leaving buses and businessmen

flat as grounded fish
along the Grand Canyon’s crumbling crust

Fourteen years of rain
relentless seamless blankets of rain

and then
they can’s say quite when

it stopped
and the quiet settled in

confounded and grateful quiet
a quiet only the desert

and lovers can know.