As It Rains

Her fever’s broken

but we can’t fall

back to sleep

as a noisy cell

of slashing rain

stalls above the house at 5 a.m.

It’s loud, she says,

and I, It’s wonderful.

I know,

she whispers.

We are both so in love,

in the reckless, proleptic

way of young parents,

with our three-year-old

who’s at a friend’s tonight.

(Asleep across town she can’t

hear what we hear in rain;

has little foreknowledge, no

clear-headed pain at dawn.

Yet old enough to choose this separation.)

What are you thinking? my wife asks

while the rain drums

a splashy nimbus on the house.

And because I am thinking them I say aloud

those lines of Verlaine

about the town and the rain and the baffled heart.

I hold her hand

in the lightening room,

she’s tired and her back aches

from lying so long in bed.