On Being Asked By My Daughter If I Can Cry Underwater

Of course I can, because I love to feel
useful. In fact, my tears are quite instrumental
& sound like Brahms handing out penny candy
to children. Salt water taffy! Licorice wheels!
It’s like the rain is two days late & I forgot
my ticket, so I’m running into the sadness
of August & hamsters, whatever the stars
pedal around in that furious orchestra
they set up in the sky. Let us reach,
my darling engine, the speed of a circus
cage swimming with light, squids opening
like jeweled umbrellas at the bottom
of the sea. Here comes the rain & all
its etceteras—the drumrolls, the windows
weeping. Now it’s really coming down.

Katharine Rauk is the author of the chapbook Basil (Black Lawrence Press 2011) and has poems published in Harvard Review, Paper Darts, Anti-, Hobart, Revolver, and elsewhere. She teaches in the Twin Cities.