Rain by Frederick Seidel
Rain falls on the Western world,
The coldest spring in living memory everywhere.
Winter in mid-May means the darling buds of May uncurled
On an ice-cold morgue slab, smilingly shaking loose their beautiful hair.
London rains every day anyway.
Paris is freezing. It’s May, but Rome is cold.
Motorcycles being tested at the factory in Varese north of Milan are gray
Victims screaming in place and can’t get out and won’t get sold.
It’s the recession.
It’s very weird in New York.
Teen vampires are the teen obsession,
Rosebud mouths who don’t use a knife and fork.
Germany at first won’t save Greece, but really has to.
It’s hot in parts of Texas, but rain drowns Tennessee, people die.
It’s the euro. It’s the Greek debt. Greece knew
It had to stop lying, but timeo Danaos, they’re Greeks, Greeks lie.
Canoeing in the Ozarks with Pierre Leval, the rain came down so hard
The river rose twenty-three feet in the pre-dawn hours and roared.
Came the dawn, there was improbably a lifeguard,
There was a three-legged dog, the jobless numbers soared.
Dreamers woke in the dark and drowned, with time to think this can’t be true.
Incomprehensible is something these things do.
They bring the Dow Jones into the Ozarks and the Ozarks into the E.U.
A raving flash flood vomits out of a raindrop. The Western world is in the I.C.U.
Entire trees rocket past. One wouldn’t stand a chance in the canoe.
A thee-legged dog appears, then the guy it belongs to.
You instantly knew
You’d run into a hillbilly backwoods crazy, itching to kill you.
Berlin and Athens, as the Western world flickers,
Look up and blink in the rain and lick the rain and shiver and freeze.
They open black umbrellas and put on yellow slickers
And weep sugar like honeybees dying of the bee disease.