birds run the rain machine

the pulleys & the knots i saw.
they harvest water for weeks
ferrying mouthfuls one flight at a time.
i crave the kind of 
bottomless rain
that makes rivers on both sides
of every street.
i tell a flock of chickadees,
"i could help you,"
by which i mean i want to see
the mechanism. where water lives
& how the birds find consensus 
to let rain come.
the patience birds must have
that i do not. i can hardly
collect pennies or dimes
before spending them 
on a cup of coffee. steam fills
my glasses. i am sadly not a bird.
the chickadees are offended 
that i think i can 
just jump into a process like this.
after all, the device is mostly 
a secret. a stone skipped
from beak to beak to beak. 
i discovered it only because 
once i climbed a mountain
at just the right time. 
saw the whole sky. i mean every detail.
the conveuyer belts &
crows perched at the helms. 
how everything moved like lungs.
stood in awe. collected feathers
from the rocky dirt
in the dream of constructing 
my own flight to this engine.
only finding four,
ilet them drop like 
row-less boats ready for
when the storm would come.
i ask a cardinal,
"what can i do to get there."
the cardinal whispers
three words i couldn't make out.
i pretend i heard him. 
take a walk in the greying world,
waiting for the first drops 
to come down so i can say,
"i know exactly how this happens."

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