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A Ride in the Rain

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The driver has no knife. He has no knife, no,
you think, and lower your head into his car.
A ride in the rain? The dark clouds bellow.
You saw him drinking at the local bar,

you think, and lower your head into his car.
Rain taps on the roof, falls on this familiar man:
You saw him drinking at the local bar.
He shrugs and offers up his empty hands.

Rain taps on the roof, falls on this familiar man,
and sugarcane stalks bend in the breeze.
He shrugs and offers up his empty hands.
As sewer pipes burst, flooding the street,

and sugarcane stalks bend in the breeze,
machetes swing into the green stems, low.
As sewer pipes burst, flooding the street,
bile is a blade at the back of your throat.

Machetes swing into the green stems, low.
A ride in the rain? The dark clouds bellow.
Bile is blade at the back of your throat.
The driver has no knife. He has no knife, no.


Blas Falconer, “A Ride in the Rain” from A Question of Gravity and Light. Copyright © 2007 by Blas Falconer. Reprinted by permission of University of Arizona Press.
Source: A Question of Gravity and Light (University of Arizona Press, 2007)
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A Ride in the Rain

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  • Poet and editor Blas Falconer earned an MFA from the University of Maryland and a PhD in creative writing and literature from the University of Houston. He is the author of the poetry collections A Question of Gravity and Light (2007) and The Foundling Wheel (2012). The poems in his debut collection utilize both free verse and received forms to explore themes of sexuality, otherness, and loss. In a voice “at once detached and enlivened,” critic Yasmin Nair observes in a 2008 review of A Question of Gravity and Light for the Windy City Times, Falconer has created “a set of pieces whose apparent lightness belies the burden of grief and longing experienced by the narrator(s).” Speaking to the unifying principle behind the poems in A Question of Gravity and Light during an interview with poet Steven Cordoba...

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