by Peach Delphine
Relentless sky burnishing us into shade, thicket comforts heart, Gulf the promise of tongue, hammock an elevation we sing from, nave of cypress and fern. Roof knows intimacy of rain percolated off the sea, returning to us, dripping from brittle cabbage palms, settling in sand, seeping through limestone, eroding our bones, dissolving memory. Rain is a liberator, together we return to the flowing, brine submerging our hands, shaking free of the woodstork, linear, then fluid, balancing warily across puddles and ruts shell road, steaming after clouds spend themselves into dissipation. Rain is a language of those gone before us, into shadow, sea swallowed, middens and hammocks longing for lost songs, palmetto restless in their absence, the first shower redeems tree frogs, having endured dry season, a vast singing commences. Taste of sky and a chorus of small voices, liquid calling of grackles, ink pooled then taken to flight, morning rain, wiregrass thick with spider webs collapsing. Rain is the sleep of clouds come to restore flow in the diminishing aquifer, rain is cottonmouth swallowing its own tail, body of iron, body of cloud, sparking wildly. Rain is the last libation poured from the blue bowl before our hands go cold, our tongues reduced to ash, clouds flowering wetness, fragmentation of self, so much longing lifted skyward into cold, approaching emptiness, frozen shards spilling, precipitation is how we name the light flowing through water, from sea to sky to sink then the long darkness of karst and aquifer. Peach Delphine is a queer poet from Tampa, Florida. Former cook infatuated with what remains of the undeveloped Gulf coast.