The rain creates its own ballet
starting with a lone figure on a bridge
holding an umbrella in the fog
splashing teardrops with his feet,
doing jetes over the larger puddles,
until the wind inverts his shade,
plies turning to pirouettes,
approaches cascading to the portal
and the head of the street,
dancing to a cityscape beyond.
At the last turn they meet cute,
their outward canopies entangling
rib to rib, shadow to shadow,
a plastic bag covering hair and
half her face, soggy groceries
nursed to her chest, an oversized
purse dangling her wrist, pulling
her down, falling, wishing for
something, someone, anything
to stop the descent, the crash.
He catches her in perfect repose,
umbrellas twirling the pavement,
as he slowly lifts her to him just a
breath and heartbeat away,
their hands touching, a thousand
raindrops pulsing on and in them.
Her parasol dances away from her
over the edge into the swirl below,
his caught before flight is vigorously
shaken to form. He stuffs fallen
apples and pears into the pockets
of his rain jacket. She discreetly
stashes a box of tampons into
her coat’s hidden lining. The umbrella
is their only shelter as she holds
it over them while he carries her
in his arms to the nearest cover,
a bodega with a green awning.
At the corner of the drizzling mist
a mother swaddles her boy
in the hems of her rain dress.
Unprotected singles cover
their heads with open hardcovers
or purchases clenched in plastic bags.
Couples step in unison huddled
under their vinyl domes.
It’s all a parade under black and white,
a synchronized rainbow of attitude,
adding to the grand Romantic ballet
of bending, riding, stretching, gliding,
darting, jumping and turning to and fro.
The finale has the last drop crying
to the pavement, to the street,
washing the asphalt in its clarity,
a lachrymose river flowing down drains,
the mechanical traffic dispersing
the rest in butterfly waves that
sends the ensemble to the edges,
leaving the coryphees alone, apart,
staring at each other in the evaporation,
waiting forlornly for the first trickle
to return and kiss their skin with joy.