the rain came at twelve o’clock just as he said it would,
gently plashing on the pavement outside the door
before trickling away down the french drains
i realized then that i had sand in my shoes,
each miniscule grain trapped in the canvas
a reminder of the wildest beach i had ever seen
and how i stood knee-deep in the sea, rapt with wonder
as wave by wave the tide pulled more ground from beneath my feet

how does one approach the claiming of names,
the brave or foolhardy stake in the game
that says “henceforth i shall be known as a —-“?
is there hesitation at the sobriquet painter or potter,
reservation in being called a spinner of songs?
or am i alone in my strange embarrassment,
my unwillingness to own the title that comes with my craft?
is this a fear of imposture, of imposition
or, in desperation, a disavowal of all the disappointment
ever attached to the appellation “poet”?

the sand has wormed its way inside my left sock
and the grit rubs between my toes
as i look out at the grey and moody sky
i’d like a friendly voice to speak from the ether
and remind me i don’t have to think so much,
that one day the questions that matter will finally be resolved …
but all is silence. outside the rain still patters down.