Glass Poetry Press

Volume Four Issue One

Andrea O'Rourke

Driving in the Rain in Atlanta

Some turban shifts at a traffic light — its folds heave — the tunics and the parkas blend, tweed caps stagger over them, and stir in an irregular pattern, like life. The damp smells the same as in Rijeka. Yet there are no gangs packed under awnings, chain- smoking like communist factory stacks. There is no distant bustle of our mothers gathering laundry off the lines, no couples groping under coats, only piles of prosaic memories now, of 1986 … and if they fade in rain, they may not behave. Rain here is an iridescent place; scenery and roles change with angles of viewing, with time. But back there, in my mind, they are under the dank floorboards of closed theatres, then winding backstage in those mixed up acts, wearing wrong masks, wrong women dancing with right men. And that dance ensemble taps on my windshield, pitter-pattering, wipers doing what they know best, memories now dressed in smooth lycra and faux boas. I watch drops fall. Water too frequents familiar places, returns to water, bringing no promise of some wet remembered kiss.