Keith Althaus
Whose Requiem Is the Rain

falling so hard it wakes 

office workers in their windowless cubicles 

so they co me running out 

into the parking lot to put up the tops 

of convertibles and roll the windows up 

and go back inside soaked. 

The storm came out of the blue, 

unpredicted. Now light appears 

like a tear in the edge of the gray, 

and the sound subsides, muffled 

like drums moving away 

to another skirmish 

in man endless war. 

What is one life when there are, so many, 

a few strained faces 

walking to the curb, every day 

a different house a different family 

dressing for a funeral. 


The papers left in the station, 

or blowing in the links of a fence 

are already days away, 


the ink and soggy pages together 

soak and sink. 

The water carried indoors as darkness 

on clothing, or lightness on skin, 

is a memory of the memory 

that begins before we become 

who we briefly pretend we are. 

Found In Volume 28, No. 03
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Keith Althaus
About the Author

Keith Althaus’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including The New Yorker, Virginia Quarterly, Drunken Boat and Poetry. He is the author of Rival Heavens (1993) and Ladder of Hours (2005). He lives in Massachusetts.