As the Rain Builds
Poem by David Waite

June 6, 2013

down at the library, I walked inside
the rope smell of your hair
with sharp grass and clover swirling
up through the stacks, I turned around
to try and find you, your
pink face waiting but it was
this college girl walking by,
her face warm with cinnamon,   the vague light
from the lamp above burned my skin.

five years in the same town, climbing out
between the shelves, through the side door turning
to cut back through the yellow haze,
the air set too thick in dusklight.

they all slowly left us, then you went
out up the coastline, back below mountains;
we call once a month, last week
we talked about the girl I’d see
who’s gone again, down living in the canyons.

ten years I been lucky
not to lose you like we lost her,    as brown acid
on top of coke starts to drain her.

this hallway dark on the stairs below,
wild thunder falling toward me,
the white barn
they sold out to the town
packed with books, taste of rye
when I walked out to the car.

I want to tell you that
I made the right choice and the people
who I used to know still know me
but it’s less than truth now,
flashes shaking through the pines and the sound
breaks and burns on the hillsides.

water seeps the windows
and the engine cold without ignition,
spring comes fast and I’m waiting
for some storm to come with lightning
lit too hot in the eyes, the long breath
as I’m watching for the bruise of thunder,
the brass sting that tastes
like the brief smell of warm skin,
and water slides over the world all around me.


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