Everything spent now except the heat and the cicadas
sucking on the yellow rind of the horizon. Light drains
from the pavement, downtown deserted but for this ritual gathering
by the tracks, every face turned skyward to the contours
of a cloud that builds and roils where nightly thunderheads once formed.
No one looks for rain anymore, only for this wheeling constellation
of a hundred thousand wings; we’re waiting for that sudden
breathless rush when the stars come pelting down to earth,
a storm of purple martins streaming past our heads
and washing through the branches of the restless trees till dawn.
— Victoria Foth Sherry