Water in air

It is quiet now at night, even in the city, roads and voices muted by the mad hush of rain. Rain against pavement is also a sound, but it slips through ears like it does through gutters, spilling over and out and rushing to sea in the way all moments and memories eventually do. But I imagine that tonight even without the rain the world would seem silent, no matter the city or bustle or subway line. Tonight is made for our quiet.

Rain in New Mexico is like destiny; every drop a karmic reward, a promise that tomorrow will come as tomorrow always has. But sometimes it doesn’t, does it? Sometimes it is just one last night of rain or dust, and who are we to know when that night will arrive? 

Out east by the sea, where the rain runs away, it is not quite so revered. The rain comes and people stretch for umbrellas and rubber, they shake their heads after having their fill. But in the desert when the moon was full and the rain slapped against us, we ran into the yard without our shoes and spun, arms and heads to the heavens. We were younger then, and life had not yet torn us to ribbons. The rains plumped the sagebrush and lavender, and we were plumped, too, buoyed with that which had not yet washed out to sea. 

The moments blur together, one raindrop against the next, prisms scattered against the pavement, the porch, our skin. How many times can a heart be broken by memories? 

Her hands were not always made of paper. I would sit on the edge of the claw-foot tub and watch those hands unweave silver braids; count brushstrokes as I daydreamed about whether my hair would one day match. White or silver. Her hands were always soft, but soft changes with time; rains pull back, reach for the sea, plums turn to paper. 

Tonight is not made for words; it is made for the drowning quiet, the non-sound of water in air.