Fall 2007 • Vol. XXIX No. 4 Poetry |

Complaint of the Rain in English

Down the silt-stained velvet of a swan's long neck, raindrops roll. Between the great white wings, they pool. You've seen it, too, as you scurry by: you want to cup and carry it off, but your human hands are full of holes. I rumple the river into raw silk, and yet you want to be anywhere but here. Where is the nearest desert? At the heart of a droplet, I bring you a grain of sand from the Sahara, if you will just look up. But you hunch in the doorway of an English church. Though it's locked, I've wormed my way in without a key: frescoes peel from walls in my presence but—wet rat shaking on the steps, trying to make yourself smaller— you don't bend on drenched knee to me. Under a leaky canopy of leaves, collar turned up, chin against chest— how clumsily you swim the thick wet air, though you're mostly water. I dampen the bare skin at the nape of your neck. You don't love me, but the roses do. From thorn to thorn, I lick my way.

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DEBORA GREGER’s most recent book of poetry is Western Art, published by Penguin in fall 2004.

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Down the silt-stained velvet of a swan's long neck, raindrops roll. Between the great white wings, they pool. You've seen it, too, as you scurry by: you want to cup […]

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Down the silt-stained velvet of a swan's long neck, raindrops roll. Between the great white wings, they pool. You've seen it, too, as you scurry by: you want to cup […]

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