Nevermore/In the Rain

(7 June 1993) after Edgar Allan Poe

Waking up in the dark thinking what I should have said woke me up in the dark. I wouldn’t have loved her differently— I didn’t choose to love her— no more than I chose the colors of the sky. My first step was wrong and it wasn’t love— like loneliness—it was no more love than hunger. I shouldn’t have said Whatever you want. I should have asked Would you respect me? If I missed my chance for a normal life, I would live a fairy tale in which I would be the beast and she the beauty. Villany always sounds reasonable to the villan, and the victim is seldom wrong. These lessons could apply to either of us. Thinking what I should have said. Walking in the rain, I would be explaining it over and over and never getting it right. The raindrops would be running down my cheeks. Instead, I am laughing because it’s raining in waves across the path, lightning and thunder are cracking near me, the creek is writhing with brown water, and nothing hurts me. I’m laughing and singing because my shoes are full of water, no one is counting the raindrops, and the drops are holding on for nothing. Opening my mouth, raindrops enter me. A train thunders across the rise, pulling everything across my field of view.