Poetry by Alison Jennings
The Presidents of Rain
The Presidents of Rain are in charge of humidity and hydration, the moisturizing of the world’s gardens, the replenishment of rivers as they surge toward the ocean. They plump up acorns ‘til they detach from mother oaks and fall toward hungry squirrels. They lurk in alleyways, making puddles for errant schoolkids to splash in on their way home, or for secret sweethearts to sink into inadvertently but without a care—sopping sneakers just another way to prove their love to the doubting world. The Presidents of Rain love the ampersand, because, lacking fingers, they hate to write things out longhand, or type, but the “and” symbol is an easy glide along the surface of a vapored-over bathroom mirror. You’ll see their messages if you look quickly—“Go & run & skip & hop & read e.e. cummings!” The Presidents of Rain enjoy the deliberate derangements of the senses, like Rimbaud, and any other good surrealist, but the Galaxy of Saddle Shoes is insisting on a fashion show, and demands a moratorium on rain throughout the underbelly of the universe for at least a week. The Presidents of Rain have never heard of such an imperious request, and of course deny it—the Galaxy retaliates by releasing an array of asteroids to pockmark the earth’s surface in a lopsided assault that will luckily miss my home and most of the Northern Hemisphere.