the dust was fine as flour and burned by sun
caked to our sweat
blackened every crease of skin. We watched
for the monsoon
as sailors watch for land
waited like lovers, lying awake
impatient with heat. We knew the signs,
felt in our bones the tradewinds shift
pushing towers of cumulus above the ocean.
Lines of squalls stalked landward
on spidery legs of rain. The electric smell
of those first drops carried miles on the wind.
That sense for rain lives in my bones.
It's easy to forget
in a Portland winter-- rain is like air, after all
and I seek the warm spot by the wood stove,
cherish mild days, cross the street
to walk through a rare patch of sun. But every fall
I feel moisture pressing against the Coast Range.
I dream of dust, cracked dry mudflats, sweat crystallized to salt.
I wake and lie waiting for rain
as for a lover.
Available! High-Voltage Lines, Knocking from Inside
Sunday, July 28, 2013