Gary Fincke: "The Rain After Sunrise"




The falling-away, grandmother says, can

Be cured by rain, as long as the shower

Is caught before sunrise.  In that water,

She says, boil an egg.  Through its shell, bore

Three holes, then set it upon an anthill

And wait for the hunger of ants to end

Weakness, weight loss, or persistent decline.


Like all of the dead, she repeats herself,

Sometimes shaking me awake in the dark

To say it’s raining, to suggest an egg.

Pay attention, she says, there are hundreds

Of versions of falling-away, the skin

And bones, the heart’s flicker, the mute surprise

At the cloudless noon of embolism.


And lately, there are evenings of weakness,

A daily log of general decline.

A vague pressure turns to pain and swelling.

In the kitchen, the bleak jingle of knives.

Upstairs, my daughter showers for so long

I worry that she’s fainted.  One son flicks

Through ninety channels.  My wife is speaking


To twenty-four children who have inhaled

Household products to alter an hour.

Outside, the late morning rain compresses

The anthill near the crown vetch to the cyst

Of a child’s castle swirled sodden by tide,

Bubbles forming in the sand’s needled holes

To show something alive lies beneath them.



Gary Fincke's latest collection, After the Three-Moon Era, won the 2015 Jacar Press Poetry Prize and will be published in March.  Bringing Back the Bones: New and Selected Poems will appear from Stephen F. Austin University.