Matt Pasca | VIRGA


There is a kind of rain that
never hits the ground

never collects in fat pools
to reveal your flaws

wriggling like worms:
the ex-wife, misplaced

money, lost friendships
strung like shark teeth

on a thread. Do not
confuse this rain

with the kind pelting
the hosta patch, deck

chairs & bike chains,
the one leaking through

ceilings onto splash
cymbals my 12-year-old

summons like a sorcerer.
If I were to die, rain

might or might not exist—
the hostas, azaleas, plastic

pails, my drummer son,
too. I would no longer be

woven into rain’s measures
like a fermata or coda

& maybe no eye would
be mirrored in water—

only branches & nude
grapevines shimmering

in ribbed twilight, wordless
free of mistakes.

Sometimes, the post-storm
moonlight shatters

my pupils & my wife
& words are all I have.

Long ago, every feeling
demanded alms

but time makes little
sense now. The seasons

spin like a top & I
stand in the road—

a heretic of presence
sniffing the sulfur

of struck stone, licking
salt from her

mouth & typing
another verse to be

read when I am
gone. Virga

is a kind of rain
that evaporates

before hitting
the ground &

really—isn’t that all
this ever is?

Author’s Bio

Matt Pasca is a poet, teacher and traveller who believes in art’s ability to foster discovery, empathy and justice. He is the author of two poetry collections—A Thousand Doors (2011) and Raven Wire— and serves as Assistant Poetry Editor of 2 Bridges Review. Pasca, a New York State Teacher of Excellence, has taught English to high school seniors for 24 years.