By Alice Oswald

May I shuffle forward and tell you the two-minute life of rain
starting right now lips open and lidless-cold all-seeing gaze

when something not yet anything changes its mind like me
and begins to fall
in the small hours

and the light is still a flying carpet
only a little white between worlds like an eye opening
after an operation

no turning back
each drop is a snap decision
a suicide from the tower-block of heaven

and for the next ten seconds
the rain stares at the ground

sees me stirring here
as if sculpted in porridge

sees the garden in the green of its mind already drinking
and the grass lengthening


maybe a thousand feet above me
a kind of yellowness or levity
like those tiny alterations that brush the legs of swimmers
lifts the rain a little to the left

no more than a flash of free-will
until the clouds close their options and the whole

melancholy air
surrenders to pure fear and

and I -who live in the basement
one level down from the world
with my eyes to the insects with my ears to the roots

I feel them in my bones these dead straight lines
coming closer and closer to my core

this is the sound this is the very floor
where Grief and his Wife are living
looking up

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