rain is running down your window.
its drops, akin to constellations, decorate the glass in clusters, running down the pane when too many join the group.
you watch the chase like a child, tracing each competitor’s path with your eyes until they hit the bottom of the windowsill.
each drop is dyed yellow with the light of the street lamps behind them.
the smell of damp earth is lingering in the air, present even through the walls you hide behind.
the storm outside wears a dark coat of rain clouds, heavy and full.
she touches down on the earth with every raindrop.
your neighbor’s lawn is overflowing with her gifts.
she is insistently loud; demanding that you acknowledge her, comment on her power, complain about her generosity that is flooding your garden, and take shelter in the wake of her downpour.
but beneath it all, the rustling of her heavy grey coat and the thundering of her many feet...
a siren sounds.
a song, sweet and promising, chimes through the night air, its melody akin to a lover’s embrace.
the ozone-heavy wind carries it gracefully and you can almost picture the creature it came from, honey bubbling up at its lips.
you know this sound. you hear it ring under every rainfall.
an urge grows, twitching your feet where they are planted to the floor.
your wrists, as if puppeteered, long to reach for the door.
a deep pull, hooked around your rib cage like a fish doomed, is threatening to uproot you from your chair.
and you wonder, if the rain were to touch your skin, would you be given the sweet salvation you were promised?
would it wash away the ache of existence, the permanent stone settled at the bottom of your stomach that anchors you to the earth?
you swear, if you could just feel the lines of rainwater drip down your skin that you would give yourself away for the promise of a new beginning.
a siren song, the temptation of the sea.
a distant fantasy in the streets of suburbia.
it’s singing to you tonight.
it’s the pull to go outside in the rain in the hopes of washing away all that you are and starting anew.
to watch who you were run into the gutter and feel your soul ebb and wave with the waning of the moon behind the storm.
to feel water running down your arm and soaking your shirt, prickling your skin with cold just to remind you that you are alive.
to surrender to the power of the torrent, to tilt your head to the sky and feel the drops hit the thin veil of your eyelids and run past your ears and trail back into your hair.
the chill of the air is weighted with rainfall, and you feel the urge to cry. you might already have.
it would be hard to tell in the storm.
the sweet siren whispers in your ear, and her voice is made of rain-slicked tires and damp earth.
“Is this the rebirth you were looking for?
Have you escaped what you were running from?
Will you give yourself to the sea if she asks it of you?”
you ponder. you scream.
a deep empty is beginning to settle where the stone was in your stomach.
how far are you willing to unmake yourself?
you already know the answer.
when you open your eyes, you have to blink the tears out of your eyelashes.
your ears ring with the absence of song, as if they’re aching to remember the echoes of a melody just out of earshot.
water beats on the metal cars and slanted roofs outside and you ache silently with the loss of something you knew you could never have.
the absence of it sits heavy, gnawing at the inside of your stomach and making its way up your throat in cut-off mourning.
the storm whips the trees around, as if berating you for ignoring her, for ignoring her gift of thinning the veil so you could escape to where you would always be unknown.
if you decide to go out, perhaps the siren would come back to sing her sound to you, delivering you to the ocean where you swear you belong.
maybe she'd sing you to sleep away from it all.
but the rain continues to fall and the urge comes and goes and you remain, glued to your window, tracing the constellations of what could be if you only step out the door.
have you ever felt the intense urge to stand out in the rain? it's like a place where reality has thinned and you almost feel like you could slip away unnoticed and wash away every trace that you were ever there. but you can't. and you'll carry that ache with you for the rest of your life.