Jordan Whitt

When it rains
Papa says
the sky is overjoyed
that it lowers itself down
to meet the earth
and each tear that it sheds
is like a pearl
a gift unalloyed
At night these pearls
turn into stars
and then the earth reaches out
with its gardenias and jasmines
and that’s how, he tells me,
a new day is born
I watch him smile as he turns
to the window and a raindrop
slips from his oyster eyes
falling six floors down
where a little stream has formed
and loose soil has turned
the tiled pavement brown
I ask him if I can play
in the rain. The first showers,
he says, are acidic, and,
besides, the pearl you’re looking for
will arrive when the fog lifts
over this city
and the gardenias bloom again
I shall then take you down
to the sea and you’ll see
how it contains itself
no matter how much it rains.


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