This Smug Rainfall

She’s lying if she says she doesn’t wonder about you, or whether your pillow’s damp as an old napkin hosting a slumber party for a fourth mug of hot cocoa. Yet she doesn’t hold back to discuss how bad it would look in the papers (if it really deserved mentioning) should some Land Rover speed through, kitten whiskers and threads of a bracelet conceding to rubber’s burn.

The sky seemed fine until a quarter after two, when men bought their lattes and murmured “resume” a good five times before she reminded herself that the novel about the Russian Mafia could wait up to a week. She placed it inside her wilted banana peel of a handbag, buckles chipped like her front teeth before a neighbor gave Mom some Avon magazines. Laughing ladies on every page convincing you it’s fine to eat lipstick.

She didn’t reach for the umbrella too soon, toes trusting the softness of cheap flip flops as others jaywalked, a construction site on the corner offering shelter and hazard. Arcade Fire drowned for several seconds, revived itself to remind her that lies ignite most everything. She pressed the button, apologizing frantically as a woman got up from the parking garage, chin brushing against torn, pink polyester. Both their mouths copied puffer fish trapped at the local aquarium. Awed, not by the children standing near, thumbs smearing a shared iPhone.

Ask her if she thinks about how it feels when the sky’s everyone’s phone charger, then shake your head.


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