Because so much consequential thinking happens in the rain. A steady mist to recall departures, a bitter downpour for betrayal. As if the first thing a man wants to do when he learns his wife is sleeping with his best friend, and has been for years, the very first thing is not to make a drink, and drink it, and make another, but to walk outside into bad weather. It's true that the way we look doesn't always reveal our feelings. Which is a problem for the movies. And why somebody has to smash a mirror, for example, to show he's angry and full of self-hate, whereas actual people rarely do this. And rarely sit on benches in the pouring rain to weep. Is he wondering why he didn't see it long ago? Is he wondering if in fact he did, and lied to himself? And perhaps she also saw the many ways he'd allowed himself to be deceived. In this city it will rain all night. So the three of them return to their houses, and the wife and her lover go upstairs to bed while the husband takes a small black pistol from a drawer, turns it over in his hands, then puts it back. Thus demonstrating his inability to respond to passion with passion. But we don't want him to shoot his wife, or his friend, or himself. And we've begun to suspect that none of this is going to work out, that we'll leave the theater feeling vaguely cheated, just as the movie, turning away from the husband's sorrow, leaves him to be a man who must continue, day after day, to walk outside into the rain, outside and back again, since now there can be nowhere in this world for him to rest.
From Visible Signs by Lawrence Raab. Copyright © 2003 by Lawrence Raab. Reprinted by permission of Penguin. All rights reserved.
My husband says dark matter is a reality
not just some theory invented by adolescent computers
he can prove it exists and is everywhere
forming invisible haloes around everything
and somehow because of gravity
holding everything loosely together
the way a child wants to escape its parents
and doesn’t want to—what’s that—
we don’t know what it is but we know it is real
the way our mothers and fathers fondly
angrily followed fixed orbits around
each other like mice on a track
the way every human and every atom
rushes through space wrapped in its invisible
halo, this big shadow—that’s dark dark matter
sweetheart, while the galaxies
in the wealth of their ferocious protective bubbles
stare at each other
unable to cease
Copyright © 2015 by Alicia Ostriker. Used with permission of the author.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error, and upon me prov’d,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.
This poem is in the public domain.