My Brother Still Runs Like Rain

by Marc Jampole

My brother’s bones and kidneys must be walking
somewhere now, transplanted into other men,
perhaps in steady rain the hour before the sunrise.

Each raindrop holds the water molecules
of former living things, now decomposed,
transformed to ice and steam, then cloud.

Soon former raindrops walk the city streets,
soon future raindrops step between
the fallen branches, over muddy cracks.

Raindrops somewhere in the world
once formed my brother’s water base,
and Pascal’s, too, centuries past.

And yet this rain is not the same as them,
insensate liquid fall, just bounce and pool,
cover, spread, run in rivers at the curb

like my brother used to run at dawn,
bare-chested, under buds of water
clinging to the limbs of leafless trees,

through umber streets, counting footsteps,
leaping over puddles, chased by clouds
that promised downpour any minute now.

Originally published in Ellipsis #46 (2010)

Marc Jampole
5889 Aylesboro Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15217