“Rain Meditation” by Shadab Zeest Hashmi (poetry, ’09) appears online at 3 Quarks Daily:
Heat is eerie: lipsticks left unrefrigerated melt into deformity, ice cream liquefies and renders the scoop useless; fruit and flower stalls carry the smell of that peculiar cusp between ripe and rotten.
Then rain comes, licking the sky green; the veil between the mysteries and the sun-weary, bleached and hardened world dissolves away, becoming thin as a glassy insect wing. A dusty estrangement washes out, newly woven silken webs everywhere; meditation is possible again.
Clarity makes me humble: I’m smaller than a melon seed, slighter than a fishbone. I’m the moisture in the air and the movement in antennae; I’m filament and feelers, the quiver within the quiver, the wet crease in the smallest leaves. I’m also a rusty door hinge, static on television, soaked clothesline, scurrying lizard, the moving minute hand on the timepiece that is suddenly ticking louder; Rain changes the acoustics entirely— each syllable, sob, twitter, footfall, turning of a knob, is distinct. The airwaves have cleared and the cosmic channels open up.
I watch the raindrops make rings on the surface of a mossy cistern: water bangles! I imagine the continuously disappearing rain bangles on my wrists. Leaves float, throats are stirred into singing: a frog’s croaking has a timbre of energy today, as if it is charging the earth in its deep, steady way.