Plum Rain by Lauren Tivey

One of my poems in Forage. Many thanks to the editors! Be sure to check out all the fine work by others in this issue.

As the skies darken and spill, two students
fall in love in my English class, their eyes
flashing over verb conjugations. Lightning

jabs the city, endless water sheeting windows,
cascading down, flooding streets; for weeks,
the air a thick veil draping Asia, plump fruit

nodding in the mist. Hands are busy
under the table—his wife, her husband,
their children, other lives, no secret.

They don’t care that I know, as I string
adjectives, comparatives, superlatives
on the board, back turned. After an hour,

I watch them go, desperate for touch, for
their weekly appointment in a muggy motel,
where they’ll peel off damp clothes, join

their hot and delirious bodies to the relentless
drum of rain. And what do I care, as I turn out
lights? I walk home through another wet evening,

under dripping trees, the suspended plums shining
and ripe, close enough to pluck. A snarl of thunder

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