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First Rain in Barranquilla

I couldn’t sleep last night so I present you with a little 2am writing…

It’s the strangest thing

I exist between incarnations of water

In a city caressed by two liquid bodies

The Rio Magdalena feeding into the Caribbean Sea

The air too often feels like it dreams to be water

With the way it sticks to my skin

Joining my sweaty contribution to this liquid world

Yet for all the two and a half months I’ve called this lively city home

I haven’t felt the rain

There have been days where I thought for sure

This is the one

The first downpour

I’ve readied myself to be a true Colorado kid and splash in the puddles

But it hasn’t come

And I’ve been confused

How can it be this humid

Yet never collect itself enough to fall from the sky in little pearls of watery crystal?

The locals tell me, “Just wait. Soon it won’t stop.”

Yet I struggle to comprehend

With my limited human mind

How a place I feel I know

Can have this alternate personality

A personality of such monstrous rains that the streets become dangerous rivers

Then yesterday

Yesterday it happened

Yesterday, I looked out my bedroom window and packed an umbrella

The air hung especially low that morning

Gray clouds resting their full bellies just above the rooftops

And the dream of the air felt visceral

My rainbow stir fry was the first to be hit by the drops

As I sat outside my usual lunch time cafe

Causing a quick debate between shelter and surrendering to the wetness

Yet in the time the electrical signals took to cross their neuronal highways

The rain laughed at my decision

The lunch time stupor of campus shattered

Forming a hubbub of unprepared college students seeking refuge

Tucking under my umbrella

I listened to the growing fury of the drops

Fleeing the sky as if chased by some heavenly wrath

Soon, I too found shelter

With a crowd of rain speckled shirts and glistening dark hair

Then it was gone

Leaving the world to settle back into its armchair

Lazily going about its day

It wasn’t until later

As I crossed the cobblestone courtyard

That I noticed the air

At last it had become one with its long-held fantasy

Every inch of my skin felt the steam rising off the bricks in the afternoon sun

Almost seeing the drops reversing their earlier flight from the sky

Giving me the uncanny sense I might be raised up with them

Raised up

Into the freshly washed sky


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