Poetry 2015 / Volume 46

Weathered — Brian Collier

This crop of rain is all
that’s touched me
this fall. That’s Oregon:
soggy envelope of Pacific days
stretched over the Cascades’
toothy distance. But what’s
distance to a raindrop?
I’ve met so many

schizophrenics
working in this hospital
the sound of rain
may as well precipitate
the voices, the noises
that visit the distances
stretched between
the Pacific of the mind
and the Cascades’ chalked
body, and what’s touched me
only feels like rain.

But who’s to say
those voices aren’t real? The ones
telling you the smoke
detector’s watching you,
that the broccoli
on your dinner tray
doesn’t suffer like
the rest of us? Ed,
I know those scissors
needed to be thrust
into your neck.
Something was wrong
in your blood, it

wanted out. So the jabbing,
jabbing and then pinned
to the floor, the six of us
strapping leathers
to your limbs, somewhere
outside a muffling of rain
addressed the gutters
in gurgles, the swill
of the Pacific, the rise
of the Cascades to the east
and I’m sure

you were speaking,
weeping, jaw
to tiled floor, confessing
your heart-bent intentions
though it sounded like
nothing more to me
than a whimpering
of rain, the sky knew
more, knew it was
a giving back
of anything but
potable waters. 

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