As a child my primary fantasy was living in the rain forest as an adult - I loved rain so much and I think it was an altogether sensual experience. I remember herding goose bumps sitting on my grandmother's porch with a blanket and watching a storm approach and letting the chill go up my arm so far than chasing it back down. And it's still one of the most sensual experiences in the world - so this is an idiotic poem about that.

Rain on Tin


If I ever get over the bodies of women, I am going to think of the rain
of waiting under the eaves of an old house
at that moment
when it takes a form like fog.
It makes the mountain vanish.
Then the smell of rain, which is the smell of the earth a plow turns up
only condensed and refined.
How many years since thunder rolled
and the nerves woke like secret agents under the skin.
Brazil is where I wanted to live.
The border is not far from here.
Lonely and grateful would be my way to end,
and something for the pain please,
a little purity to sand the rough edges,
a slow downpour from the dark ages,
a drizzle from the Pleistocene.
As I dream of the rain’s long body
I will eliminate from mind all the qualities that rain deletes
and then I will be primed to study rain’s power,
the first drops lightly hallowing
but now and again a great gallop of the horse of rain
or an explosion of orange-green light.
A simple radiance, it requires no discipline.
Before I knew women, I knew the lonely pleasure of rain.
The mist and then the clearing.
I will listen where the lightning thrills the rooster up a willow
and my whole life flowing
until I have no choice, only the rain
and I step into it.

from Salvation Blues: One Hundred Poems 1985 -2005 (Mariner Books, 2007), © Rodney Jones 2007, used by permission of the author. Poetry Foundation recording made on 1 March 2008, New York

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