by Christopher Raley


Clouds cover stars and pin down earth

in dry stillness the city cannot hope to receive.

It casts its troubled light against their bellies

as if staining them with a longing to be found.


There were years when winter was so cold

we thought it would snow if only first it would rain.

We shivered in levis and rubbed chapped hands

looking up in awkward moments of youth

for the hope of gray boiling over blue.


I had to leave to find a land where storms

fled east across its valley.  Battering winds’

silence after rain’s infinity slapping

motivated interchange over the highway shining

like wet skin under two solitary lights.

And beyond the ridge the passing glowed its race

to dark waste upheld in mountains.


But now clouds pin down earth of dry stillness

back in the land of empty sidewalks and suburban houses.

We look up crafting the wisdom of age from the frame

of failed dreams while crossing the driveway


to take out the trash.


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