I still remember when I was a child
looking up at my mother with fire in my eyes,
asking and pleading and begging to put the flames out
with the rain puddles outside.
I ran, no shoes, no socks, no responsibilities,
and I took a giant bound of promise
into the cold-filled pothole in the parking lot.
I still feel the pebbly gravel on the soles of my young feet,
sharp and cutting but not to me,
to my impervious little soul,
burning bright and giggling like a madgirl
as I stomped in the sky's shaken-off droplets,
a miniscule inferno amidst the grays and beiges of apartments.
I still love walking beneath the towers of trees,
branches reaching out in vain to obstruct the rain,
trying to keep the world beneath from drowning,
and I feel the droplets fall through,
stopped for milliseconds at a time but never impeded,
relentless, a torrent of inexplicably influential rivers,
falling onto my left arm and reminding me
that there are beautiful things to be found above,
and that drowning below the trees is the sky's kindest gift.
I still never complain when the clouds roll in.
I feel excitement in my bones, an ancient stirring
of desire, of need, of living for this moment,
my eyes ever drifting back to the window,
my personal forecast consisting of "exuberance."
When my mixed hair has been painstakingly straightened,
two hours of heat for seventeen years of growth,
I still walk outside, buzzing, humming, expecting
the shivers of cool air that precede that glorious storm,
the rain that will ruin my work, run colors, wash away chalk drawings
I used to make on the pavement.
I still love the rain, the
gracing my skin,
the cold raising my hairs,
the wind whispering in my ear,
the thunder pounding in my heart,
the lightning blinding me with its dazzle,
the storm embracing me and sealing my love in it.