Rita Dove

from Vol. 14, No. 2 (Spring 1991)

How to Make Rain

Kevin Young

Start with the sun
piled weeks deep on your back after
you haven't heard rain for an entire
growing season and making sure to face
due north spit twice into the red clay
stomp your silent feet waiting rain
rain to bring the washing in rain
of reaping rusty tubs of rain wish
aloud to be caught in the throat
of the dry well head kissing your back
a bent spoon for groundwater to be
sipped from slow courting rain rain
that falls forever rain which keeps
folks inside and makes late afternoon
babies begin to bury childhood clothes
wrap them around stones and skulls of
doves then mark each place well enough
to stand the coming storm rain of our
fathers shoeless rain the devil is
beating his wife rain rain learned
early in the bones plant these scare
crow people face down wing wing
and bony anchor then wait until they
grow roots and skeletons sudden soaking
rain that draws out the nightcrawler
rain of forgetting rain that asks for
more rain rain that can't help but
answer what you are looking for
must fall what you are looking for is
deep among clouds what you want to see
is a girl selling kisses beneath cotton
wood is a boy drowning inside the earth


Poems by Kevin Young
Cassius Clay by Basquiat | Hollywood Africans | How to Make Rain |
Letters from the North Star

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