Mary Jo Salter A Kiss in Space  
    Mary Jo Salter: A Rainbow Over the Seine

Noiseless at first, a spray
of mist in the face, a nose-
gay of moisture never
destined to be a downpour.

Until the sodden cloud
banks suddenly empty
into the Seine with a loud
clap, then a falling ovation

for the undrenchable
sun--which goes on shining
our shoes while they're filling
like open boats and the sails

of our newspaper hats
are flagging, and seeing
that nobody thought to bring
an umbrella, puts

up a rainbow instead.
A rainbow over the Seine,
perfectly wrought as a draw-
bridge dreamed by a child

in crayon, and by the law
of dreams the connection
once made can only be lost;
not being children

we stand above the grate
of the Métro we're not
taking, thunder underfoot, and
soak up what we know:

the triumph of this arc-
en-ciel, the dazzle
of this monumental
prism cut by drizzle, is

that it vanishes

back of the book
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    Excerpted from A Kiss in Space by Mary Jo Salter. Copyright © 1999 by Mary Jo Salter. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.