John E. Rice

(Bogota, June 2004)

high in these bony outcroppings,
these vertebral beginnings –
or endings –
of the Andean spine, cool
June rain falls, slowly soothing
this weary place. Cool June rain

is indiscriminate, wetting
ricas y pobrecitos, caballeros y
campesinos, ciudades y fincas,
wetting roofs of tile,
roofs of canvas,
roofs of cardboard,
roofs of tin, wetting
rusting, rotting roofs or
no roofs at all. Cool June rain

splashes on the patio
outside my room, a peaceful
fountain’s fugue washing away
the sins of today, singing the sacred
sentences of revolution and dissolution,
offering the sacrament of absolution. Who

will answer, who will accept the chance
to begin again?

Poems used with permission of the authors, and may not be re-used without their permission.