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Forrest Curo

Forrest Curo contact Forrest at forest@cts.com

You're being asked  . . .

You're being asked
to leave the flames of Hell;
you have done well
and been well done.
Why have you put yourself here?

Can't you accept yourself
without proving yourself

Can't you forgive yourself
as you'd forgive others
if you dared?

Your Daddy's calling; it's
time to come home
and play.

I used to love the rain.

It goes back to my childhood;
my mother wouldn't let me out in it
at first; and then it was a treat
to feel it plopping on my waxy yellow raincoat
under the big bright hat like a fireman would wear
or a fisherman out at sea in a hurricane,

drops falling splat splat in the puddles--
water out of the sky--how amazing
and how grown up to be walking in it
all by myself.

I used to love the rain, even
when I came home from the storefront Methodist
church my parents thought would be good for me
full of Noah and the fire next time

daydreaming of water over the ditch
up the hill and into the driveway, water
over the curb, into the basement,
water up the front stairs
and the door, flooding the whole world
to the windows; then we could all go around in boats.

I always loved the rain
in the Bible, falling
with loving impartiality;
the real rain would remind me of it
and make me smile; the air felt clean
as if it were already done washing

and on a rainy night you know
the psychic power lines are buzzing
so anything can happen, anything--

When you're an overpromised failure at college,
inside-out and shriveling with loneliness,
you might venture out on a sleepless midnight
to find a wandering stranger at the doughnut shop
(holy-eyed and ranting of past lives he'd seen you in)
to invite you to a mansion in the Berkeley Hills
where a young woman fifty thousand years old
waits to initiate you into mysteries;

anything can happen on a rainy night
when you need it to happen, when the time is right;

you can move in to protect
a woman you're mistakenly in love with
and adore her from afar in her own living room;
you could steal her a Christmas tree
thirty years ago when I did it
though I wouldn't recommend that anymore;

(The rain came down in drops crowded together,
every drop like a fishbowl, the wind tearing at the world
while I sat cozy inside the window.)

I always wanted it to rain; I wanted
to feel the angels washing me clean again
for another start, another adventure,
or maybe just the simple love of the rain.

There was a time, once
when a decent person might love the rain
and it wouldn't have to mean someone was shivering;

it wouldn't have to mean people sleeping in wet clothes
with no mommy to put them in a hot bath
so they wouldn't catch their deaths out in all that.

I have seen my country ruin itself
in a frenzy of wilful ignorance;
I have seen mercy dispised, cruelty accepted--

heard men like ants prattling of freedom
to create wealth by picking each others' pockets--

I have had to learn to live
by swallowing indignation
but beyond all that
they have stolen my rain

and that is not even mine
to forgive.

A Cat Meditation

It's spooky. He's

sitting in the living room,
all tangled up, staring
at a perfectly empty spot
on the floor. I wonder how

do they get into those
positions, how
can he spring if anything
comes out? I wipe

my nose on his hand and he tells me
he's hunting the Great Mouse.

Copyright © 1999. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Duplication of this poetry and/or art without permission of the author/artist is forbidden under copyright law. Please ask permission if you wish to use for non-commercial purposes
  Big Cats in Snow Tuesday, July 11, 2000