The Days Seem Longer When In the Morning There Is Rain

by Kelly Jones

that breaks into a humid grey afternoon and the herbs
perched on the back stoop in colorful pots

drown in pools of water that I pour out
onto the rosemary bush in hopes of saving them

and my fingers carry that sharp Mediterranean scent into evening
as I smoke a cigarette and wonder where the hours went

and if I should mix up a drink now or later
or not at all since lately

the distance between me and others
seems wider than usual because

it is, and right now I’d love to feel
a stranger’s arm brush mine on a crowded street

or some sand under my feet and a sunburn
to soothe with aloe and later peel away to reveal

fresh new skin, and last night I dreamed I didn’t have a face,
just more flesh where my eyes, nose, and mouth should be

but I still had all my senses and smelled a storm
in my sleep and when I woke

it was difficult to open my eyes so I laid in bed,
listening to the storm, thinking about how yesterday

my phone autocorrected all is vanity to
all is vanishing,

which is such a beautifully phrased undoing
that I envy AI’s way with words.


Kelly Jones is currently an out of work librarian, educator, writer, and editor who lives in the Piedmont of North Carolina. Some of their poems have recently appeared in *Dead Mule School, Bone Parade,** Epigraph Magazine, *and* Ghost City Review*. These past few months they’ve been spending their time caring for an old dog, attempting to keep lots of houseplants alive, befriending the feral cats that roam their neighborhood, trying to not distress their spouse by rearranging everything all the time, volunteering as a member of the Operations Team with *Telephone *(an international arts experiment), and suppressing the urge to yell ‘*masks, masks, omg where is your mask?*’ whenever they’ve had to venture out into the world.

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