My lover wants me to write her a poem,
a poem about rain of all things.
How foolish do you want me to look I ask,
everyone knows rain is a cliché.
I suppose you want this poem to be about
tearful rain or cleansing rain or oppressive rain.
Freedom rain, baptismal rain, or something
more domestic, like diamonds on our kitchen screen,
rain collected in street puddles that make us skip
on our way to the café, and too bad we forgot
the umbrella to share
and forgive me for wanting
to hold you a little closer
so you won't get wet.
What else? Flowers?
I suppose you'll want to hear about flowers in this poem,
they go so well together, rain and flowers,
a tide of red and yellow Columbine,
splash of Brown-eyed Susan,
thorny wash of Rose. No,
I won't fall for it.
As if I have nothing better to do today
than to contemplate rain, make of it
a stream of words, a river of verse,
an ocean of meaning. Damn it,
more clichés, they dribble off the tongue drop
by drop without stop
and before you know it
you're waist deep
in a Hallmark trap of sentimentality,
you're swimming in it and over your head,
so you can't breathe,
and humiliated by acting the child;
rain, rain go away!
Let's just lie here quietly in bed for one morning
ignoring the rain
as my body barely inches toward yours,
it's the best I can do for now.
I won't mention the tap tap tap
on the skylight
or the dark round clouds
hovering over us like disproving faces,
and promise not to mention my failure
to please you
with the poem you so desire
or heaven help us
something as original as love.