by Shenan Prestwich
With you on rainy days, I always think
of Alstadt-Lehel in September.
Just like that, I feel its slick stones
like I still feel the summer’s swamp upon my eyelids these days
when they close beneath your shadow in July.
Still hear the buzzing of the air
filtration motor, like a swarm of flies.
Though it’s never repeated
its incredible feat, its coup de grace,
not a single pass of your palms over my hips
from June to August goes without stirring
in me how I saw my head split open,
crown to nose, and felt myself burst from it,
floating in the still blue without a sound
except the distant buzzing of the flies
from miles below me somewhere.
But when with you on rainy days,
I think of Alstadt-Lehel in September.
I make a point to think of it.
Because someday when the rain has shepherded us in
by plinking on the windows and the air
conditioning like mallets on a xylophone,
tinny and uneven,
and your hands are tired and my eyes are tireder
because the kitchen’s sat there darkened, dumb
for three days because we haven’t changed the bulb,
I’ll feel my right arm spattered damp,
my unprotected side opposite the one
beneath the shelter of your rib,
our shared umbrella.
I’ll look upon our house as one of sustenance,
cultivated and consumed with every day,
like full, fat pumpkins, like tomatoes,
like the bierhauses—Weissen, Hacker,
Fischer Vroni—we waded into then,
floored by warmth, by the embrace
of ancient tender arms.
By the ache and creak of wood, the sting of salt on lips.
The sweat of wheat and water curving
down the belly of the glass and pooling
in the wet feathers of napkins.