Rain God – A Prose Poem by Frances Klein w/a Painting by Cathy Daley

Rain God


She did not want to be a rain god, had never wanted it. She did not want to stand on rocky shores
gazing out at churning waves while spray spritzed around her. She did not want to hike through
forests with dripping canopies, precipitation bunching and swarming around her like a cloud of

That’s the thing about being a rain god. No one ever asks you what you want.


If she was invited to parties, she would tell people that being a rain god isn’t all it’s made out to
be. She is not invited to parties. She drinks alone: watered down bourbon, watered down gin,
watered down wine. Like a reverse Jesus, she says at the gatherings she attends in her head. The
joke is well received, but the faces of the other guests are blurred by mist—no defining
features—all rain slicked cheeks and teeth.


She intends for the god portion of her dating profile to be a warning. She has 10 queries that
same day, a date later that night. When she gets to the bar he looks over her shoulder as if
expecting some more impressive, rainier god. She looks too, sees only her own reflection in the
surrounding sheen of water. He buys drink after drink, probes her in detail about her “abilities.”
When she asks what he does, he shows photos of his almond farm.

She ghosts while he is in the restroom, leaves a pile of damp singles clumped on the bar. In the
cab she deletes her profile.


Rain gods are not waterproof; a good day is merely damp. She wears only sandals, has a horror
of wet socks. She scavenges used athletic gear at Goodwill, Salvation Army, wears anything
“moisture wicking.”

Sometimes she goes to the pool and stands under the dryer, pushing the button again and again,
drowning in its mechanical roar. It is the closest she ever gets to being happy.

Untitled 2021 – Cathy Daley

A painting of a 'beauty queen" pinks and mauve and white. She has her arms outstretched to the edges of the canvas, wearing a white-pink tiara crown, surrounded from clavicle down with larger and smaller bubbles/balloons. An expressionistic gestural painting. Cathy Daley (2021).

Bio: Frances Klein (she/her) is a poet and teacher writing at the intersection of disability and gender. She is the 2022 winner of the Robert Golden Poetry Prize, and the author of the chapbooks New and Permanent (Blanket Sea 2022) and The Best Secret (Bottlecap Press 2022). Klein currently serves as assistant editor of Southern Humanities Review. Readers can find more of her work at https://kleinpoetryblog.wordpress.com/, or on twitter/instagram @fklein907

Cathy Daley (1955-2022) was a Canadian visual artist whose work continues to be shown and collected internationally.  Her work is in many public and private institutions incl., The National Gallery of Canada, Ontario Gallery of Art, The Canadian Art Bank, and numerous private collections. At the time of her death, she was a Professor Emerita at OCADU (Toronto), where she taught drawing and painting for more than 25 years.  Her work is represented by New Zones Gallery, Calgary, Alberta. Website: https://newzones.com/

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