“Praise Rain” by Kathy Fish

The fallen and the falling were rain. The haunted and the haunting, rain. Tears were rain but they were clichés, unworthy of rain. All, for centuries, thirsty for rain. Kings and queens and emperors, rain. The dry and salted earth begging for rain. Faces upturned to rain. Praise rain. Bodies-in-need rain. Bodies that form, are born, and fuck in rain. Vows-under-a-canopy rain. Drunk, dancing rain. The morning he was born entrenched, drenched in rain. Baptized in rain. Hands, yours and mine, clenched in rain.

There was a boy whose eyes and ears and arms and legs and spit and snot and tongue were rain. There was a boy who caught frogs and toads and crawdads and released them into the pond pin-pricked by rain. There was a boy who woke in the night from terrors and we held him close under a down blanket and taught him to be comforted by rain.

Once we tramped through damp grass, swung a monkey boy between us like a skipping rope, despite the rain. Once worms slithered to the surface of the earth fat with rain. And he slipped on the wet-rain stones and tumbled and bled like rain. The floodplain rain. The biblical rain. The tin-roof-white-noise-whisper-words-silence rain. Gone rain. Loss rain. Toy-soldiers-on-the-windowsill rain. The one-good-thing-we-made rain.

Kathy Fish has published five collections of short fiction, most recently Wild Life: Collected Works from 2003-2018, from Matter Press. Her award-winning short stories, prose poems, and flash fictions have been published in Denver Quarterly, Indiana Review, Electric Literature, Guernica, and elsewhere. Fish’s “Collective Nouns for Humans in the Wild,” which addresses the scourge of America’s gun violence and mass shootings, will appear in an upcoming edition of The Norton Reader. The piece was also selected by Sheila Heti for Best American Nonrequired Reading 2018, and by Aimee Bender for Best Small Fictions 2018. Fish’s work was previously chosen for the 2017 edition of Best Small Fictions by Amy Hempel and for the 2016 edition by Stuart Dybek. Additionally, two of Fish’s stories are featured in the W.W. Norton anthology, New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction. She is a core faculty member in fiction for the Mile High MFA at Regis University in Denver, Colorado. She also teaches her own intensive online flash workshop, Fast Flash©. For more information, see her website: kathy-fish.com.


At The Masters Review, our mission is to support emerging writers. We only accept submissions from writers who can benefit from a larger platform: typically, writers without published novels or story collections or with low circulation. We publish fiction and nonfiction online year round and put out an annual anthology of the ten best emerging writers in the country, judged by an expert in the field. We publish craft essays, interviews and book reviews and hold workshops that connect emerging and established writers.

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