The Shape of Rain – Lois Marie Harrod

Not the pear stopped by leaf or twig, not fallen gathering to fall
keyboard of drops along a rail, those tiny fluted notes that swell

with the tenderness of the universe, first we feel and then we
             fall, no,

not the sweet joys that ripen, if we’re lucky, into a sixteen
             thousand liquid beads.

And not the cartoon drips battering the weather map,
splatting today and tomorrow, 60 percent chance.

Nothing that certain, and certainly not the tears
streaming from the eye into a tiny bottle, lacrimae Christi,

no, neither the shape of crosses nor the shape of candy kisses
which I was once believed was the form of rain falling,

maybe because rain reminds me of the mouth,
that wet tryst for which there is no synonym.

Does not rain go deep as desire, the sweet downpour to the
And how many times do we get anything right?

The truth–each drop of rain, if small enough, is a tiny earth held
by its molecules or larger, has a flattened bottom, a tiny bun of

Imagine googolplexes of Claes Oldenburg sculptures
dropping through the firmament,

remember those hamburgers sandwiched between canvas buns,
painted sailcloth stuffed with foam rubber, a pickle on the top?

That is the shape of a raindrop, not pretty
and if it grows too big, the surface tension gives,

the bun bursts and the dribble rips itself apart.
Oh the difficulties of nature, of art, the ridiculous comparisons
              that almost work.

Some say those mammoth bun sculptures
are still in storage in the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Lois HarrodLois Marie Harrod’s 17th collection Woman is forthcoming from Blue Lyra in December 2019. Her Nightmares of the Minor Poet appeared in June 2016 from Five Oaks; her chapbook And She Took the Heart appeared in January 2016, and Fragments from the Biography of Nemesis (Cherry Grove Press) and the chapbook How Marlene Mae Longs for Truth (Dancing Girl Press) appeared in 2013. A Dodge poet, she is published in literary journals and online ezines from American Poetry Review to Zone 3. She teaches at the Evergreen Forum in Princeton and at The College of New Jersey. Links to her online work at