The Formula for Rain by Rich Ives


The thing you said knocks at the door and wants to come back in. You just let it out. Something from the air has fallen, which is a kind of swindle involving belief and has a life of its own.

There are a lot of people you can’t see, who are making up lives you won’t notice, for reasons even they don’t understand, and sometimes it’s better that way.

When you said I miss you a little, it meant there was a little of you missing. You won’t be expecting the ones who didn’t make it as far as this to be waiting up ahead, but perhaps you should.

The way we used to be doesn’t ask me if it can come back, the back of the sock climbing in under the foot. This is something it does slowly, until I realize I can’t ignore it.

We lined up at the deposition center, nearly limpid with discrepancies. I couldn’t get ordinary enough.

You thought you knew where you were going. Perhaps that’s why you got lost.

1. fog; some things are clearer when they’re not themselves

2. innocence; its value is weakened by knowing it’s yours




Rich Ives has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission and the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines for his work. His writing has appeared in Verse, North American Review, Dublin Quarterly, Massachusetts Review, Northwest Review, Quarterly West, Iowa Review, Poetry Northwest, Virginia Quarterly Review, Fiction Daily and many more. He is the 2009 winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Award from Bitter Oleander. He is the 2012 winner of the Creative Nonfiction Prize from Thin Air magazine. His book of days, Tunneling to the Moon, is currently being serialized with a work per day appearing for all of 2013 at


One response to “The Formula for Rain by Rich Ives”

  1. […] surreal flash that pays forward oddments of metaphor and situation is Rich Ives’ “The Formula for Rain” in apt, in which the speaker’s observations are barbed with delicious […]

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