Christine Stroud Drought

We can only make love when it rains. Summer showers, sleet, thunderstorms, hurricanes—it doesn't matter. Every morning we look out the window, fingers crossed for a gray sky. You bite your nails, chewing until each fingertip turns to a dried apricot. I smoke Newports in the afternoon—frown at the white, winter sun. The TV coats the bedroom with a blue glow; the weather channel on all the time. We pace hallways in the house. I squeeze your arm when we pass.

Our therapist says almost every couple goes through something like this. She says it's about compromise, but we're not sure who's not meeting who halfway anymore. We play a Nights in the Rainforest CD on repeat, consider moving to Seattle.

In bed I dip my fingers in the water glass, let drops fall one by one onto your back. You tell me your favorite rain memory. Once when you were camping, it started to drizzle early in the morning. The wet and heavy clouds changed the shadows and shapes in the tent, defining a whole new life. I tell you mine.

The CD starts over; we fall asleep to the sound of jungle rain on the canopy.

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