Today It Rains

by Sarah McKinstry-Brown

I chose coming away because here at least I feel good — and it makes me feel I am growing very tall and straight inside — and very still — Maybe you will not love me for it — but for me it seems to be the best thing I can do for you…


Today it rains — Georgia O'Keefe, letter to Alfred Stieglitz after two months in Taos, July 9, 1929


Tomorrow, when I pour the hot water

into the coffee press, I'll watch the black grounds


do their slow dance, mixing bitter heat

with the promise of something smooth.


I'll remember you; how you took out your camera

led me to your bed


and sat in the chair across the room,


your voice guiding my fingers, one

button, then another. The revelation


of skin: a white bird, a clean slate,

the air of a quick rain


at the end of a long summer.

With your lens


between us, we could both be

beautiful, could take each other in


the way my eyes do when I rise

early to see sun climb over canyon.


Don't you understand? I had to leave

to find a way back


to the man in the chair, the woman

you photographed.