sweet: 2.3
Andrea O'Brien
Rain Lore

We sift through photographs to remember what she looked like until the cold rain of memory storms down. We are collectors of myth, gathering stories and naming them as if they were insects pinned in a museum drawer. Our hands are like those of a child shaking a mason jar to wake its dead moth. Rain the size of sand falls outside. The shells we sift from sand will outlast the animals that made them. We wear our memories like yellow slickers in the rain, only to cast them off at the end of the day. We are flawed guardians, winging over her. As she fades like a photograph, we blot her image with pastels. Soon even the bitter rind we have sucked on disappears. She becomes a harvest moon, sifted from the ordinary ones. Rain the size of pearls falls. We thumb the beads of her necklaces like those of a rosary. Memory is brittle as the relics of saints. We call upon St. Kevin for that unseen seam between mud and muscle that suspended him in prayer until the blackbird’s brood broke through the shells in his open palm. Sometimes the music secure in our Victrola bodies escapes, and for that moment we no longer care how we came into being. Rain the size of pebbles falls. We rain our stories down upon the generation that follows. How will our existence bend to their language and memory? How can they preserve us from the warmest rain? All they collect will be sifted and shaped. We are creators of myth. Legend the size of rain falls.

Andrea O’Brien’s poetry has appeared in various publications, including The Hopkins Review, Connecticut Review, Nimrod International Journal, and The New York Quarterly. In 2007, the Kentucky Foundation for Women awarded her an Artist Enrichment grant to support the writing of her second collection of poems. Andrea lives in Denver with her husband and works as a writer and editor. She cannot recall a time she refused something sweet. For more info, check out her web site.