I Never Know When It’s Going to Rain
My eyes in REM
with whimsy of dreams
while my girlfriend stays up
to watch a meteorologist
beside a map of swirling Rorschachs,
divining the next day’s weather
like tea leaves in the bottom of a cup.
Each night she watches local news,
tiny terrors magnified and given teeth
then tucked beside her as she tries
to fall asleep. In daylight, she shakes
her head at my choice of wardrobe,
the way I dress each day according
to the day before. Cold snaps
and heat waves catch me off guard.
I step into each like a punch-drunk
fighter offering up his chin.
If it rains, I get wet and she laughs.
But most days she studies me
like a kid pressed against
a toy store’s display window.
You don’t know how lucky you are,
she says from beneath her umbrella.
And what can I do but crowd in
beside her as cascading drops
thrum on the fabric—
for her a confirmation,
for me the drumbeat of surprise.