The Scent of Rain

Rain, rain, the scent of rain and six ways to smell it.

One, to sit sheltered in an open place and breathe the secrets of aesthetic contemplation.

Two, the often unwanted and always unsterilized hypodermic syringe of earth’s atmosphere, bringing diseases and floods and loss.

Three, a smell that is parallel to the memory of every failed love affair that left you laid out like the boxer who went down in the last round, moaning like the broken dreams of an aspiring actor with the looks for radio.

Four, the scent of heavy rain mingling with Chinese takeout steaming from the bag as you do not hurry up the driveway because there’s no one to come home to, and you don’t particularly like the book you’re reading so you may or may not finish it, and the house will be freezing, and you’re as blue as a well-worn bowling ball that no one chooses anymore because times have changed, sick as an overflowing ashtray, and tired of being so shy that it keeps you from having friends or trying an open mic.

Five, the intoxication of dripping madness on brick houses and tin mailboxes while demon desires slake their thirst with uncommon fluids, and people who were once good-looking and bright now wear straight-jackets and beat their heads against padded walls.

Six, to smell grace, to smell the line between sleep and awake, to smell the syllables in a poem written about something you’ll never forget, like shooting stars or hot buttered rum or old movies or golden prairies or empty train-tracks or the first time you saw fireflies or the street address of someone tangled up in your soul.

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