It’s Raining Upstairs

Michael Turle


It’s the rain that blisters down like bullets as thunder

rocks the trees adrift, makes out to break your

windows if you don’t come out to play, so you

prattle down the staircase, shake on your best rain

boots and find the world is bone dry as soon as

you’re out the door.


It’s nostalgia for the kind of things you’ve never known before, but

feel like you’ve lost without recourse, without potential to replace;

a pedestal decked with dust and dreams.


It’s a tongue in your mouth that you do not know by heart

but want to and dearly and desperately, but it is gone

before you can try.


It’s the thorns on your lips biting down into a fruit that has hard,

fleshy armor made of spines and you know it’s sweet inside, but

your teeth can’t break the skin and there’s blood on your lips now

and you must stop to get a towel.


It’s nights spent in the practice of too-tight left hand handshakes

and tears shed over comics that weren’t meant to make you cry

— or at least not that way, you freak.


It’s a tattoo on your wrist that you do not remember getting

of some words, perhaps a poem, in a language you can’t

read, but you have a thousand friends who can and you ask

them what it says but all they ever tell you is “You have to

find out for yourself.”

And you will get bonebreakingly tired of

“You have to find out for yourself.”

Perhaps that’s just what it says—

“You have to find out for yourself.”


It’s a painting on a wall in a museum that doesn’t

exist of a white staircase to an attic with a blue mist

falling out; and you’ll never know what’s up there

because it’s a painting for Christ’s sake


in a museum of your illusion

but wouldn’t it be nice to know?


Wouldn’t it be nice to know.

It’s raining upstairs.

Michael Turle is an English major at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. He was the 2020 recipient of the Arthur E. DuBois Award for Excellence in Literary Criticism and works as an editor at KSU’s Literature and Arts Magazine, Luna Negra. He plays trumpet in the athletic bands and serves as the media director of Sigma Tau Delta, Xi Mu chapter.