Moisture

[…this poem originally appeared in a San Diego Writers’ Ink Anthology…I think]

There, when the air
is just like that

when you feel it an
it becomes sticky, salty, like sand

my entire machine shifts gear
and I become something else again

and I remember what happens to time
because it’s like some Kindergarten
worm-hole

when the clouds pile into grey and
—become the giant soft box, the
pellucid womb of vapor—

from which Kindergarten afternoons
and wet palm fronds in Autumn
—in Southern California—arise from.

So too, my love for you,
gathered like the weight of the air
as if my very body withheld itself
just beneath the threshold of rain,

where I finally become liquid, frantic
droplets that pelt your body, your lips,
the moisten your lashes, make you blink
make you run your tongue against your

lips as you become just another animal
feeling his own body in the rain, and I asked
God if I could be the jacket you peel off
your arms, the shirt you untuck to dry.

I asked to become warm and soft and flat
and dry—maybe something in an art deco pattern,
random squares in pastel pink and blue—
something your grandmother would have brought,
instinctively, to you on this kind of afternoon.
And I don’t really believe in Eden and yet
somehow I’m sure this is the weather
just after the Great Fall—this is
being human, when you feel as though
skin and air differentiate only
by their concentrations of moist,
salty sweat.

I think next, I’ll pray to
finally dissolve, to fall, to become
everywhere
the wet stain on everything you see,
the sharp smell—all around!—of newly
wet dirt…