The Context of Rain

Catherine Weiss

after sam sax

comet shoemaker-levy 9 dove into jupiter on july 16, 1994. the impact
was a momentous scientific occasion—every astronomer knows where 
they were when she was swallowed up, like the challenger or 9/11. when i say 
i’m tired of all this shitty weather, i mean i’m bored by the concept of trauma. 
i don’t want to talk about casey affleck. i don't want to pine for sun. once i
choked on a piece of steak but i don’t remember the part where i lived. 
i can still see the blurring plate, the rough carved table, scarred steady beast, 
the adults all set around it like furniture. the space between all of them 
and me. i must have coughed up the half-chewed meat, apologetically, 
dirtying a napkin. at night i have anxiety about drowning in my own lungs. 
my therapist believes there’s a good reason water makes me nervous.
but i think it’s just a thing to worry about, like home invasion or the plague.
imagine: you need oxygen your whole life or you die. imagine: being alone 
inside a planet so big and so red.


about the writer


Catherine Weiss is a poet and illustrator based in Western Massachusetts. Their work has been published or forthcoming in Up the Staircase Quarterly, Freezeray Poetry, Voicemail Poems, Jersey Devil Press, The Mantle, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, Noble/Gas Quarterly, andSlamfind. Catherine was the 2017 Grand Slam Champion of Northampton Poetry, and has competed at the National Poetry Slam, Women of the World Poetry Slam, and the Individual World Poetry Slam. Their website is