Monday, July 28, 2014

Struck by Lightning

Mirth is like a flash of lightning, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity. – Joseph Addison

What if I want to write another poem
on love?  Would that be alright?  Would I need
to apologize?  Last night, the rain fell
just when we were thirstiest, and
as I held you, I listened to the whack
of water smacking against the window.
I watched the drops stain the glass, the blowing
thin-twigged bush outside our bedroom that I've
paid more attention to of late, greeting
it when I wake in the mornings, its gold
buds barely visible except in light
of sun rising.  I am trying, lately,
to form new habits, to notice the small
beauties that surround me and to practice
gratitude.  So, last night when the storm came
I remembered that you love my touch, that
the way my fingers skim your back sends chills
so I traced the outlines of your tattoos
again and then attempted to recall
if I’d ever had an experience
like this− if I've made love to the background
sound of thunder and rain pelting louder
than the music playing to set the mood
and if I have, I can’t now remember
so even though I knew I left my books
outside in danger, I stalled, centering
in the moment, hallowed by our presence
and our choice to still and to acknowledge
that inside love there is something holy
to be revealed so even beckoned by
the worry for my words, surely soaked by
now, I waited until I felt the beat
of your heart slow down.  We unfolded
bodies, redressed and walked out into
the rain, letting the cold drops pelt our skin
welcoming the blasts of wind because in
the desert, we’re parched and storms are something
of a thrill, but still, after rescuing
the abandoned books, we sought safety in
the car, enthralled like children, saying, “Did
you see that one?” whenever lightening flashed,
hunting the sky with eagle eyes for streaks
so as not to miss one and I wished for
a moon roof because they seemed to strike right
above us and you said you could under-
stand how people could want to chase storms and
I nodded and said I understood why
kids and dogs are so afraid of thunder-
storms because even inside the bubble
of the car, the sky lit, at times, so bright
and there seemed to be no seconds between
that and the thunder that I couldn’t help
imagining what it must be like when
one is struck by lightning so I dabbled
in the fancy of our house on fire
even once we’d fallen back into bed
but then I remembered that once before
I’d been struck by lightning – it was when we
first made love, so I settled down against
your warmth in the hollow of the blankets,
fulfilled and remembered that nothing bad
had ever come from entering the storm.

The Sunday Whirl

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