I drew a brief haiku with one wet finger on a windowsill
then rain washed it all away, the drops of water slowly clouding
its calligraphy. Ephemeral as the scent of cedar trees,
or the spice of woodsmoke drifting through a winter landscape.
We climbed up to the attic, windows dusted with dark memories
and age, their surfaces a chalkboard for some verses melting
into muddy ribbons as raindrops beat against the stanzas, erasing
what was written, the memory of those words already fading.
I had four bedroom walls to paint a rainy blue, but first added a sonnet
with the smallest brush, moving through the slanting light in the empty
echoing room, and the solvent’s scent, and standing in the middle, reading
it aloud, and rolling all the words away, up to the blue tape’s edges.
You spoke something in another room. I heard your words as water,
maybe clouds. I listened, but could only hear the orchids growing
in their pots next to the kitchen window. We who are disappearing
into distance have become these words, washed away by rain.