when the rain comes
i detest the heaviness in my limbs that
settles bone-deep when the droplets find
their way down the glass, tracing the paths that
their calcified forefathers took.
i don’t know the ones my ancestors
took, barely know the ones my parents took,
so i suppose my existence is just the accumulation
of generations of being lost. cursed
before conception and so will my children
be unless i can glean secrets from the
morse-code taps and whispers at my window.
maybe the rain whispers the secrets of my
family and the story that will be mine.
so i press my ear against the glass,
feel the coldness on cartilage, let
the steady beat of their descents travel
into my eardrums and pulse, barely discernible
from the sounds of the blood rush. maybe
i will learn to cup my hands and
let the wetness dribble through
the cracks, shape the water into stories
with fingers worn smooth.
i am jealous of the rain in that way,
as much as one can be jealous
of recycled water that has
seen the intestines of sewage systems and
the gaps between cracked teeth.
but no matter how many exhales and
expulsions from rusted pipes they go through,
the paths they take always lead
but I suppose that they are heaven’s tears
trickling from cloud-sieves; they are but
a glimpse of the feelings that heaven has to offer:
dancing while soaked to the bone, pressing
together shoulder-to-shoulder under a spoke-bared umbrella,
star-gazing after a night shower.
i (dust with a heartbeat,
thrumming in my blood) cannot compete
with that—with the dampness soaking into
my lungs and wrinkling my skin, with the hollow
being carved in my back.
rain is a steady force and i am not,
so hide. hide under stuffy covers and muffle the sound of
heaven’s rumbling laughter, ignore the pitying peals of it
as the leaves float in the gutter, belly-up.
By Yong-Yu Huang
Yong-Yu Huang is a Taiwanese teenager based in Malaysia. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in The Heritage Review, Parallax Literary Journal, and Eunoia Review. In her spare time, she can be found playing the flute or binge-watching Doctor Who.