We can speak to the rain,
but it does not say anything to us.
“Why are you so strong?
Why do you want to flood us?”
we ask it. But it only pushes
harder toward the ground,
forming mud, overflowing
the creek. We don’t understand
why it will never answer,
when we can hear its voice
in its fall from the sky, tinkling
sound of drizzle, the thumps
of downpours. Walking into
the open, our clothes are drenched,
they stick to our body, becoming
almost translucent with water.
We find canoes and inflatable rafts,
afraid we might have to float
to survive. Maybe there is
a common language we’re missing?
Maybe the rain speaks Esperanto,
maybe it’s an unidentified tongue?
In translation books, we sift through
Mongolian and French, but are not
able to find one. What we fear most
is that wind will arrive, and then we’ll
have to translate further. Except
we know that it’s always spoken to us
in English, in nightmares, where it blows
down alphabets, turns words into screams.
Donald Illich has published poetry in journals such as The Iowa Review, Nimrod, Passages North, and Sixth Finch. His chapbook, which will be published by Finishing Line Press, is “The Art of Dissolving.” He lives in Rockville, Maryland. His blog is The Art of Dissolving. The link to his chapbook to pre-order is here at Finishing Line Press.