A Brief History of Rain

by Antonia Clark
The Waters
First Place, May 2018
Judged by R.T. Castleberry


Me standing in the rain and you
leaning close for our shoulders to touch,
the band screaming above the the storm.

Me standing in the rain and you
on your knees, slipping a paper ring
onto my wet and trembling finger.

Me standing in the rain and you
kicking the flat tire, regretting everything,
my feet held fast in the sucking mud.

Me standing in the rain and you
telling me how much we need it—
maybe the rain, maybe a break from it.

Me standing in the rain and you
expounding on cold fronts and pressure,
as if we were concerned with weather.

Me standing in the rain and you
watching from inside, a shadow
in the window, shaking your head.

Me standing in the rain and you
just a cipher, a name in the records.
You the absence that inhabits the rain.


Really fine use of a punchy repetition to relay the narrative of a relationship. Unsentimental and tough, with a wrenching conclusion. --R.T. Castleberry

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