The rain fell in full sheets. You could watch it drive itself across the swamped pavements. And we pressed against each other and against the closed shop door in time with both the wind gusts and our excitement.
Last night I had lain in bed, the small window as open as the ancient lacquer would allow as the temperature dropped and the storm arrived. Yesterday it had been nearly summer. Today it was as if the calendar had leapt forward and October was racing over the Donegal hills.
Last night she had lain in bed, her closed window pelted with water, the wind driven through the poor glazing pushing the lace curtains into a dance. Yesterday I had told her that I loved her and she had put her finger to my lips and said, "Hush, you would use powerful words before you mean them." But I knew that she had wanted to hear me say that.
Had the weather held we might have run to the hills today, somehow, but it had not. So we had shared interior spaces instead. Tea and a shared pastry bought with too much of the money in my pocket. No, not too much. Poetry read to one another near the top of the stairs in the flats. Did sea define the land or land the sea?/Each drew new meaning from the waves' collision./Sea broke on land to full identity. A long hour in the choir loft of the cathedral. Et introibo ad altare Dei: ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam.
Now what there was of the day's light was draining out toward the lough and the sea. And pretending that we were staying as dry as we might, we absorbed what we could of each other. Then the clocks began to strike the hour, and she ran off to her home.
copyright 2006 by Ira Socol