When It Smells Like Rain

Monique Ferrell

when it smells like rain   

I know that you are coming   can feel your proximity and your intentions                  my world is colored by the threat   and your impulses 

and so I brace myself  

want to crawl back into my warm bed   and remember yesterday                                the there in the before   when I was able   and steady on my feet   ready to run 

and now   I’m not so sure 

perhaps there should be another word for depression                                                we’ve become too accustomed to the sound   the pressing together                          of its consonants and vowels   against our tongue and teeth 

there should be something more formidable   in its place                                            for a thing that makes you forget yourself                                                                    dirties each stream you drink from   blows away the footprints                                    of every road   you have ever walked down   until you become terrified                      that you’ll never   find the way back 

there is no god here   or black jesus   and the light is hard to come by 

so you walk forward   stumbling in the dark                                                                  feeling at walls   that are no longer there 

because someone once told you   you had to…have to 

every time   

retrace your footsteps

and then   find the way back home