When the sky shoves in flashes past
our shoulders for one last look loose ash
like fertilizer in our fists
sticks to the creased designs of our skin aging
the life lines and this rain
won't let up reminds us of you
won't even let fall away
the soft fine soil left of you
but changes it once again
so it sifts through our pores a pewter mud that molds
like wet clay to the shapes of us
filling half moons of fingernails half healed wounds
trying to take form in the half shells
of our curved palms. These are our hands yes
now let go let go!
Arms drop to our sides or rise into the rain:
where do we put our hands do we wipe them
tacky with wet ash on our skirts and pants
or on smooth leaves whose seeds
you once planted here? Soak them
like stained cloth in sudden puddles by the road
hold them out to each other more mementos?
Gesturing helpless we surrender:
This rain will dry again and leave us too
in the dust. Now it breaks us open
the same way you said rain
breaks open earth not sky. We feel the grey
lines trickle and drip past our wrists
up to our elbows like picnic juice
let the rain
laugh at everything wash us clean sweep
the last of you in rivulets right through us
on through veins that pulse out to a sea
climb out like Venus and descend again we promise
we'll try to recognize you.