Antonia Clark, I Was The Rain

Second Life

First, you must leave the one
you’re in. Consider the little pill.
Or imagine the trance of the apple
under the spell of the knife.

It could begin with the slow glance
of a stranger, the way you’re drawn
to danger, the way the flatline
of the horizon draws the eye.

It could begin with a slip of the wrist,
the twist, the cold grip of regret.
But the future’s an untold story,
a book you haven’t opened yet.

You still have time to think twice,
set your expectations higher.
You could be born again, become,
like anyone, an object of desire.

To Fog

I’ve become intimate with fog,
its habit of soft seduction,
its hazy days, its misty guise

with fog, its great bewilderness.
master of masquerade, the sleight
that glosses over, gives the lie.

After the havoc of sun, erosion
of hope, the fog says come, cleave,
nothing’s as bad as it seems.

I sing to fog, my cloudy shroud.
Fog, my dear facade, sweet
smokescreen of my dreams.

I Was the Rain

I was the rain, always falling,
dropping delirious,
a cloudburst of complications.

I was mist, sprinkle, downpour.
drizzle and deluge,
flurry and flood.

I was cats-and-dogs
all over your countryside,

pattering on your roof,
sobbing at your window,

spoiler of picnics, ruiner of shoes,
mistress of mud and misery,

pooling, puddling,
pathetic, at your feet.

You were a dry spell, parched
as the desert, thirsty and yearning,
a refuge to run to, fall into.

I was the rain, and you
were two cupped hands.

Fleeting Thoughts

They slide away from you, slither,
slip, sand through your fingers,
a leaf trembling at the lip
of the falls, and then—

the sleek snake in dry grass
nothing you can grasp,
too fast even for eye to claim

tail of a mouse that eludes
the broom, a nagging sense
that someone in the room
has called your name

A flicker of form on the edge
of sight dissolving
into the scene behind it—
mantis, moth, chameleon

the ace of diamonds shuffled
back into the deck, where only
a magician can find it

the disappearing speck
of the flown crow high and away
against the clouds, heavy-
bellied, dull, and gray.

Window

A scrimmed window shimmers
with obfuscation, shivers
at what it hides,

a widow smiling mysteriously
behind her veil

or settled fog keeping its secret—
the gray face of the lake,
once so easy to believe in.

You want to clear a space
with your own breath,

an open mouth, a portal
to what lies unseen,

to leave some sign of passing.
But nothing you write
can last — even your name

suddenly meaningless,
stray marks on the glass

frosting over.

Antonia Clark has published a chapbook, Smoke and Mirrors, and a full-length poetry collection, Chameleon Moon. Her poems have appeared in numerous print and online journals, including 2River View, The Cortland Review, Eclectica, The Pedestal Magazine, and Rattle. A medical writer and editor, she has also taught poetry and fiction writing and manages an online poetry forum, The Waters. Toni lives in Vermont, loves French picnics, and plays French café music on a sparkly purple accordion.

To read Antonia’s Pond, click here.

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