In God's Burning Rain
by Steve Klepetar

A friend once told me about writing a song,
“Standing in God’s Burning Rain,”
started singing right in the street:

“standing, standing, I’m standing in God’s
burning rain!”

That’s all I remember, but since 1973
I can’t get that out of my head, this young
guy wailing about God’s burning
rain as we walked back toward Regenstein Library
after he beat the crap out of me at racquetball
for about the fiftieth time.

I’m pissed off about losing, pissed that he’s bellowing
his own song,
but it gets in my head, thinking
about the image of rain and fire and wrath
and how he half closed
his eyes, sang right out there with people
stopping to stare, leaves burning
red and orange in trees around the quad.

Wind whipping from the east, you could smell dead
alewives off Lake Michigan,
students lined up buying polish sausage
from a truck on 57th and America
full of people, and Vietnam
and the Middle East

and in Chicago
south of the Mall always on fire, flames
you couldn’t necessarily
see, slowly burning, all standing in God’s burning rain.

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