I Know To You It Might Sound Strange But I Wish It Would Rain

posted Aug 7, 2006

Sunshine, blue skies.  Please go away.
- The Temptations

Never open
a poem with
the weather,
the blotched watery
glue of clouds,
the sky’s cobalt
the sea’s clumped
and righteous pull. 
Never use abstractions,
words like
“angel” or “desire”
“dark” or “beauty”
because no one
recalls what they
might’ve meant. 
Never use “you”
to speak for the reader
who’s been kind
after all
enough to read
these lines.  Never
write a poem
about writing
a poem or another
love poem never
desire a little never
assume you have
my attention when
you should’ve surprised
them sooner than this  
never drown
in the world’s
dark beautiy
never know that
you’ll never
not know what
you used to
not know
ever again
listen, oh! just listen,
to the exact song,
the melody
that testifies
how we held
that little bit
of time
baby dude love darling sweet
all those things
I know
you know
you were


Nicholas Allen Harp 's poems have appeared in The Missouri Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Boston Review, and elsewhere. A 2003 Fulbright Fellow in Ireland, he is currently a lecturer in English at the University of Michigan.