The Ten Thousand

The rain comes late, draws the afternoon into darkness,
no light where there should be light, no way to be but drenched
until it curves down over your lips. The taste of every living thing
is in the raindrop the way all things open their eyes inside
a single bloom in the garden that is now hushed in a robe.

Whatever you feel about it, whether you live for it or pray
for the rains to die, the water joins with all of us, tendon, bone,
artery, vein, saliva, everything that melts and goes hard, escapes
as air. The water brings a reunion for a moment with what we know
each time we breathe ourselves here or are forced to breathe.

If I write without color it is to obey the gray way rain brings
the past to us. The ten thousand are one giant palace with a room
for remembering, where you must stand alone, touch and believe
while it seems you are touching nothing and have gone all mad
in this life, this gift. We are sitting on a rock in the thick falling

of water, purple lilies are growing in the sun's ocean shadow,
sheep with golden wool are flying in the trees, a patient monkey
is bandaging a wounded blade of grass, the garden is a mesa,
seeds are mountain caves, the moon has gone infinite, made
two of its own selves for each of our palms. Now we have faces.

More Poems by Afaa Michael Weaver