[but the rain is full of ghosts tonight] by dawn lonsinger

and it has taken something from me,
driven my feet from the earth,
tendered a gift that displaces me. The water
pours through where-I-was like a lesson
no one will tell me—a breaking
up by filling. Each droplet glints like the eyes
I have consented to and then let go of.

Because even your deepest stare could not stitch
me to the landscape. This rain, and its interminable
music, at once initiates loss and turns from it.
I try to gather its signatures, but they come undone
like parachutes without bodies. How can I step
through this gauzy curtain toward you? What in
the world is so adamant about division? Cars
continue to butt their way through delicacy, leave
tiaras of smoke in the falling.

Love, do not turn blindly from evidence—there
it is—time as obvious oblivion . . . and repair.
Time touchable, drinkable, blitzed. The mangy
cat huddles itself under the cold engine
and the awnings are full of compliance. Now
is the era of standing apart from it because
the wetness makes us suffer too close to eternity.
Can you feel the terrific weight of its accumulated
utterances? Still, it feels so buoyant in my hand—
the umbilical (or elevator shaft) of heaven yielding
to spare—O innumerable pollinated yeses

This poem can be found in dawn lonsinger’s book Whelm.

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To learn more about dawn lonsinger, visit her page on the Poets and Writers website by clicking here.

And below is the poem that the above poem is in conversation with…

What Lips My Lips Have Kissed, and Where, and Why by Edna St. Vincnet Millay

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.

Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.

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