This is the letter that I would write you

I would call it Zugunruhe and know that though I cannot you can pronounce that word

I would say today rain the hum and splash of white noise the silvery gray of a sky
obscured and suffering

Today the dogs tucked under comforters slumbering how they always get sleepy and
still in bad weather like ancient tides still rise inside their sturdy bodies

like their tall-grass spin before sleep to have a memory that long to remember

Dark chocolate and hot tea the cradle of an oak drawer full of lace full of delicate made

What does an oak tree love is it the sun is it the thin tubes raising water like a sacrament
golden cup held to the light is it the good dirt crumbling at the root is it the rain

How the rain flows around solids creating them in a fluid sliding in vacancies when I
stand in the rain I am

not cleansed nor made wet I am simply a shape an absence

I remember sometimes being a child and yet my body is not the same body the same
shape the bones

How is it that I love you

You could find salt stains the muted smooth beach pebbles taken into this mouth the
ocean like the rain leaving only a slight shine in its absence

the shine and the salt my own spin cycle listen I was a child

the first time now I am that restlessness before migration the way my body

in the rain turns toward where it thinks you might be how the drops gleam at the pine’s
small needles how I reach and take one shining drop on my tongue how it tastes

of impossible distances even as reflexively I swallow even as distances both collapse and

lengthen into the afternoon into the white noise is this feeling so slight so fleeting as all

Listen every love story has a difficult ending every love is a story listen

It might never stop raining

Leslie Harrison has recent poems forthcoming or out in journals including The Kenyon Review, The New Republic, FIELD, Antioch Review, Orion, and elsewhere. Her first book, Displacement, came out in 2009 from Mariner Books, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She teaches creative writing, poetry and literature at Towson University and divides her time between Baltimore and the Berkshires.