Spring 2016, Volume 20

Poetry by Lorine Parks

on the occasion of a torrential rain in Long Beach

each sharp drop so hard
it tears a slit
in the fabric of day
first water battering at the eyelids
then the pounding of pebble-sized beads
finally granite boulders of thunderclaps
the air is so fluid that crows are grounded
gutters sprout water wings higher than Hummers
Alamitos Bay is being sucked up and funneled
onto the corner of Carson and Clark
the streets have whitecaps and the lawns have tides
Noah himself knocks on our front door and asks to come in
halibut and oysters dripping from his sleeves
he tethers the Arc and tells us stories till midnight

when the sun finally blossoms at dawn
and wisps of steam swarm up from the eaves                    
we pick up discarded jackets   boots   head-scarves   oilskins
shaking limp eels from our damp pockets
now dry and serious   we wonder   what tramp steamer
made those mysterious keel marks
in the mud in our front yard


—Originally in Volume 8, Spring 2010


BIO: Lorine Parks curates Poetry Matters events for the Downey Arts Coalition at Stay Gallery and edits a weekly poetry column in The Downey Patriot. Recent books include Catalina Eddy and Persons of Interest.