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Nate Thomas

All Summer in a Day

We telescope through sadness
our focus not
on the rain, but the rainbow.

Not on the rainbow, but
past the rainbow, as though
the cosmos were
an eye chart, its meaning locked
on the lowest line.

How many dust motes
have individually mapped the contours of our eyes?
Our irises as wide as Saturn's rings. Our pupils
cold black holes.

Copernicus proposed that the heavenly
bodies did not revolve in perfect circles
around the earth.

He was right.

They instead ring their ellipses
only in my mind, tireless bearings
rolling across the cup of my skull
etching the expanse of the ages
into my frontal and parietal bones.

And how is it I should know, that Venus
should exist, having
neither seen, nor touched it?

But I believe in Bradbury
and I know that it rains, it rains there

All summer in a day

Because I was the child
locked in the closet, a closet
of paper and words and long
summer days, lying in bed
watching the plaster fall from above
the knee wall, straining
to see the color of the sun
through convex sheets of rain.



Nate Thomas serves as poetry adviser for Sleet Magazine. "All Summer in a Day" is from the book All Fishes Weep, which can be read at