All night it rains morse code on the dome of the tent.
It is a vase of air, a lander in search of life,
transmitting this, “here I am, speak.”
For hours, I sleep, curled into a shape of a lake,
until I wake, turn into another, and because I am cold,
a lake more southerly than the last.
I wear my dark blue Toronto Maple Leafs toque,
reminiscent of the liners astronauts wear,
and divers also, which they fit beneath their helmets,
but the cold, another body now, embraces me.
Perhaps she can sniff a damp animal.
With my pores wide, I might admit
she can enter my skin,
divide, leave again
because this is her route,
bodies of rain traversing
lake after lake, letting mist
of another planet,
the warmth of the island
I once discovered at
its very centre.
Your dark hair for a moment
flutters cross your face.
But Crow finds her branch,
sees all. Snow sewn into
the black trees. White
in the eyes of a forest.
When I typed,
“what are you up to?”
there was nothing
until, illuminated in a cloud
of text, she arrived:
“I was drinking in the rain.”
was normaI, her layer of metaphor, I
had known her more than…I
had been the closest, were
we to have swapped voices
we would surely be
no different. So,
it was almost
to put my face inside,
find hers there,
the usual planet, glassy darkness,
a tongue of oxygen landing,
like the feet of a reptile,
only to be swept back into the body,
but the eyes, too heavy
to be moved, remaining
like twin fingerprints on glass
like the shells she had collected,
as a girl, after the storms on the Black Sea
had risen up, and left them. So, I said, “I know, I know.”
“No, no, you don’t, she said.
“I was actually drinking the rain.”
Maybe, this morning
you are raking leaves,
scraping yellow canals through a yard’s
parched lake, that each morning,
after sleep, weigh lightly
against the ankles,
parts, as you walk, rejoin.
Fall is new here, and teases gravity,
and leaves dervish,
decomposing into birds.
But you loved trees,
didn’t you? And me,
mound of decay, smoke-bleached.
I feel myself breathe.
For a moment, I believe
I can decipher the air
where you sing to yourself,
wading in again, another road
peeling through the beautiful ruin,
recollecting, then, the old truth,
the new truth, that even trees will
have souls again,
while others blacken
as they burn.