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Is Sobriety a Metaphor for Rain?

By (March 1, 2015) No Comment

I’ve endured mostly quiet since the first day of
sobriety—until the rain came pelting our

windows, rain we’ve been promised for days, this first of
spring rain, rain like hail on the rooftops rain forcing

us from our houses in bathrobes & bare feet to
inspect the damage done; rain that washes our cars,

we’re relieved, raking away wind-swept leaves, petals
on windshields torn like broken hearts we scribble on

construction paper to overcome our depressions,
so much storm-cloud black rain, tablets of rain like a

bad book rain we keep reading to see just how bad
it gets; pages of rain turning so our eyes trace

the sky westward, where it shifts its corrosive hues
northward, & there’s more rain, & trees twisting as if

hallelujah it’s raining finally rain, where
the heat shrugs off like a boy embarrassed because

he’s just peed his pants from crossing his legs holding
too long, like a cumulus bulging with rain that

empties like a bucket that keeps refilling from
the same well, so much rain like piss on that boy’s pant

like a patch of dirt just splattered with rain, soaking
so you see how dirt deepens to dark mud from a

simple splash of rain, but oh how quiet the boy’s
shame, how his eyes become tempered by grief, his lip

pouting, tears verging, mucus swelling the sinus
cavity like rain filling the eaves, rinsing out

the muck, it might be cleansed but probably its stains
remain, like a liver shriveled from incessant

alcohol returns somewhat to its former shape,
a liver percolating booze like rain trickling

its last drops through sewer lids in the street, rain we
won’t ever pray away, rain we hold our breaths for

until we’re grey as rain banishing the silence
before this poem came, this welcome to spring rain.

Darius Stewart was born in 1979 and grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee. He attended Tennessee State University and The University of Tennessee, where he earned a B.A. with honors in English. He is a former fellow of the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets and the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas—Austin, where he graduated with an M.F.A. in poetry. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Potomac Review, Walking Is Still Honest, Appalachian Heritage, Callaloo, The Seattle Review, Meridian, Poet Lore, Verse Daily, and two volumes of The Southern Poetry Anthology, among various other journals and anthologies. He is the author of two chapbooks published in the Main Street Rag Poetry Chapbook Series: The Terribly Beautiful (2006) and Sotto Voce (2008), and his third chapbook, The Ghost the Night Becomes (2014), won the Gertrude Press Poetry Chapbook Prize. He is the Reviews Editor/Poetry Reviewer for Grist: The Journal for Writers, and resides in his hometown, Knoxville, with his dog, Philip J. “Fry”.