I stare at the wet ground, surprised at how clean
a dirty ground could actually look after rain.
And as I look down at the slight reflection
of my chin in the puddle
pooling at the corner of the curb, I wonder if the earthworms feel free
as they lay and squirm, fresh.
Then I start to squirm too: not because I feel fresh,
and not because I feel dirty, but because I don’t feel clean.
I stop and try to count backwards to the last time I felt free,
just like the worms beneath my shoe feel as they’re beaten by the rain.
It’s funny how even though they’re technically safe in a puddle,
they’re under constant struggle, lost between themselves and their reflection.
I still remember this morning, looking dead straight into own reflection.
My makeup was fresh,
yet the blurred and hollow look in my eyes resembled the puddle
of numbness and solitude inside of me. No thought could be reborn clean,
no scab or scar could be washed out by the rain,
no haunted ghost inside could be set free.
When was the last time I was free?
The worm by my left front toe wiggled, like a reflection
of the caged soul buried inside of me. I reached out to let the rain
lightly tap my right palm, tingling, crisp, fresh.
I inhaled. The air that seeped into my lungs was pure and clean,
much unlike the rest of the organs around it, reduced to dark plum puddle.
Remember when you watched me sink into the corner into a puddle?
Or when I used to run around with my arms up, head back, and spirit free?
Can you live with yourself, after you’ve dirtied the clean?
Or is my story, our story, a simple reflection
of what is under the flesh, of a youth no longer fresh?
I focus away from the palpitations in my chest and fixate on the rain.
They say after the fall of a hard rain,
even if it leaves everything reduced into a puddle,
the life in the world awakens feeling fresh.
The humidity and electricity dissipate, rushing free.
The sun rays peaks past the cumulous clouds onto water surfaces creating a reflection
of all the light that is to come, of all the good that is to come from a new clean.
I don’t know when (or if) I will ever feel clean
again. But I know that regardless of how fresh my reflection
looks, a hard rain will only add to my puddle. It’s only me who can set me free.