361: “Because Of My Amazement” (Claribel Alegría)

“Rain is falling
falling
and memories keep flooding by
they show me a senseless
world
a voracious
world–abyss
ambush
whirlwind
spur
but I keep loving it
because I do
because of my five senses
because of my amazement
because every morning,
because forever, I have loved it
without knowing why.”
                -from “Rain” by Claribel Alegría

                I love the cascading finish, the “because—, because—, because—” that sweeps me along on sights and sounds and unknowing. Yesterday it got to 108° in California. Hot like holding a breath. Today I swam through cool water. Close like a kiss. Now a fan whirs. My mom and my younger brother are talking, a murmur like the brooks I remember, running through meadows in the mountains when I was half my brother’s age and my mom and I talked while setting up our tent. 
                Sometimes I look for “becauses.” Why do I live so far from my family? Why do I spend so many hours inside drafts of my novel, wondering about phrases, rearranging words, imagining places? Why does the beginning of this passage from Alegría feel sad to me, and the end feel windswept, bedazzled, bedewed—sweet? Sometimes I tell myself that there doesn’t need to be a because. There is this. This murmur of voices. This whir of fans. I like letting go of because. Reading this, I also like shaping some becauses like the ones Alegría gives me. I live far from my family because of bending curiosities. I’m visiting California because of conversations like running creeks. I’m writing this because today was warm and tonight is getting cool, and because of the water, close as a kiss.

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