The Happiest Day of Your Life


You wake up and hear rain. You wake up
and think there’s not enough rain, not enough
songs about rain or memories of rain.
Of being numbed or warmed by rain.

You wake up. Your eyes are open.
Lilies in a moss-green bowl. Elms through
the window moving their hands like cellists.
Books exist. And paintings. And pillows.

Blue Mountain and Saddle Mountain.
Abundance Creek. Alpha Centauri. Delft.
The woman in your dream was putting down
a crate of oranges, but then you woke up

remembering there is custard. There is
Verdi, there is smoke-filled late-fall air.
And even joy in what it feels like to grieve.
Wanting to sleep instead of bear what

you must. Like finishing the best book
in the world: “. . . And so they buried Hector,
tamer of horses.” You wake up, wanting to try.
You try. Here in the swirling eddies,

in the dark river of time and decay.
There is rain. There is this day. There is
this day and no other. Praise it with trumpets
and zithers. Praise it however you can.


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