one night on a balcony

I was not yet twelve
wedged in a small
square of space
on a balcony
full of other used things
a chair       old games
everyone else was asleep
it had been raining for days
I wore pajamas
the street was rain
the tree was rain
the captain’s villa across the street
was rain
the blue street lamps were rain
the ribbon of my road to my right and left was rain
the ocean on the other side
of the house
that I couldn’t see
without leaving my room
was rain
Midnight was rain
I was seeing suitors
in thunder

Shebana Coelho is a writer and director originally from India, now based in New Mexico. She received a Fiction Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), and a Fulbright Research grant to Mongolia. Her stories and poems have been appeared in Chronogram, Word Riot, Sukoon, Malpais Review, Lummox, Hippocampus Magazine, Vela, and NPR's On Being Blog, among others. She is working on a poetry collection, Finally the open sea. Visit her website at