Poem for the Weekend #3

I first discovered Homero Aridjis lying on the sofa at Rudi and Christl’s home in Regensburg. An anthology of his poetry was sitting on their coffee table and I must have picked it up absentmindedly. It was June and sweltering. A thunderstorm had just passed through and fat, unctuous raindrops were trickling down the windowsill. I was mourning somebody I had cared for. I turned the page to this poem and fell in love in a way one does with poems when you read them at the right time. I love it just as much today as I did that rainy June day.

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I REMEMBER YOU RUNNING DOWN THE STREET

I remember you running down the street,

wrapped in a shabby raincoat,

me dressed in green and for a Friday,

covering your head in a newspaper

so your father couldn’t see us.

It was November and drizzling,

over the raincoat your soaked hair

was a butterfly floating in air.

Out of your open purse dropped coins

which were picked up by a beggar.

Street after street, we walked, honeymooning

with no ceremony, civil or religious,

wed by the blessed sacrament of love.

Our steps weighed heavy on the ground,

and drowning in water the shoes

made our elopement panicky.

We got into the metro wet,

pushed our way aboard a car

and over your back, the doors

folded the raincoat, like two wings.

We went on, watching each other, on the train

which bore us in its own world, away

out of night and away out of day.

I kissed the taste of rain on your lips.

Homero Aridjis