the word for rain

Saturday morning, the air smelled of sticky rice,

glutinous to the skin, steaming me slowly. By noon,

the sky crackled like paper, folded into animal shapes.

Then, two days of thunder split the sky’s belly wide,

tiger guts and crane feathers splattered the pavement,

blood pooled at thresholds and the bottoms of stairs.

I stared into the flared white petals of an orchid,

subtle yellow with orange speckles, its tendrils

curled me inward. This is where pain goes.

Rain slapped my deck so hard on Sunday night,

sounded like carp falling from the sky.

Such a racket I opened the door a crack expecting

flashes of mottled orange flesh in undulating waves.

Instead, through mist and rain, the same strip of lights

hovers over Seonnggeo as it does every night—

alien like a father’s eyes watching me as I sleep.

The last thing I see before closing my door.