Willaimson Brasfield , from  Barrier Islands

Willaimson Brasfield, from Barrier Islands

As if rain were the only blessing
left us and its gathering could
undo these days, pot-holed, gutted
—but this is no way to begin.
Today I hiked the hill on the other side of the river,
all its steps to that little church, shivering. My voice the echo

of trying to speak across an ocean. February exhaust
thick, titled with headlines, reminds me where I’m not and that

this city’s forehead against the glass belongs.
I would paint it there, at the bus window

misting. Tonight, wine opened to breathe,
polenta and pecorino welcome, steaming.
Socks washed and brought in from the line will hang
across the mantle, drying out. I will remember to buy stamps.
In the letter I open again, home
buried under snow, but here
it only rains—so steady I feel it inside
the church, listening to monks sing low
and trembling. To say this rain—
like the tiny spoon, honey-coated, paused
over coffee. The plate mopped up with bread. The shutters
closed by our own silences and holding us there. As if they could.


Beth Marzoni