Each sparse drop of the rain gathers itself up high,
fattens, and begins to slip --
no longer air, not yet earth --
soars for a time, catches updrafts, is bumped sideways
by ripples of wind, and finally --
the last terrifying fall --
kisses my flushed face and lingers a moment
before becoming air again.
Another aeronaut finds cool green grass to land in
goes to earth like
a glistening transparent fox;
loses himself in the soil, waiting for the fine grassroots
to pull his children upward
in the slow cold tender
circulation of the soil: a foreign paratrooper
gone native, forgetful of the war.
And a third, in those last moments sees below
something waver and gleam
like his natal air,
but more, more like, like what? -- no time to think.
Bubbles spin away;
but his landing kicks
a brother drop inch-high, and vanishing, he knows --
more like himself.