“Rain, like Grief” by Avi Lohr

by Avi Lohr ’24

Old car, windows down
Speeding along the highway we always did
Between the lake and the mountains there is 200 miles of desert
It’s just me this time

This road was never anything but sun
Right here, by these twin saguaros
This is where you’d stop and say
Oh, I hope it rains
Now the clouds are gathering in the fading light

I stop the car at sunset
Wander to the old train tracks
I must be gone by dark,
Even the saguaros can’t protect me then
But now, in the moments between day and night
The desert allows me a pause

As I walk back to the car the first drop finds my skin
Sweet and cool and gentle
The earth screams out for more

You used to pray to become a raindrop at your death
I prayed the desert wouldn’t swallow us up

Night, and I’m on my way again
Rain meets dust and sunbaked pavement
The breathy percussion surrounds me

By the time the dark has settled in
The freight train’s howling by
Never seen, its castaways are headed somewhere new
Were you among them?
Or were you already there

The day rolls over to the next
And the wind carries the chorus of ghost to me
Through the rain I can feel their fingers grasping at mine
I keep my eyes on the road
I’m almost there

Finally, the sun is rising
Though the sky doesn’t seem to agree
I stop the car again and step out
The clouds lighten, bringing the wild horses that drag away the last of the night
I thought I saw you among them,
Thought I felt your touch
But it was just the rain