The day it rained
We traded questions back in forth like love notes
The thunder was the percussion to a song I did not want to hear but
The rain was all he could listen to
I asked him a question and he answered like Noah's ark in reverse
first olive branch, then flood
My sister once showed me how she could split an apple in half
with only her bare hands
I press my thumbs deep into either side of you and wish I had asked her to teach me how
Step one on how to split someone straight to the core:
apply pressure, hold them in your hands, fingers splayed
He asked me a question and I answered
like the skin of an apple after falling far from the tree
bruised, lost, trying to stop the softness from finding a home here
The day it rained
I thanked God for quenching our thirst
I dug my hands deep into the soil and said
Wash me clean, Lord. Wash me away
I asked if he looked for me in the floodwaters,
neck deep in prayer and he said
That’s no place for something so holy
My grandmother once taught me how to make tea that tasted like summer
Take a pitcher, fill it with water, add a pinch of southern love, now
I hold tablespoons to your mouth
sunburnt love, porch swing love, hands
sticky like melted popsicles
Neither of us can remember the taste of a peach
I have plants on my windowsill
that haven’t seen the sun in days
Outside their brothers are singing
crying out, drenched in gluttony after years
of burning
I ask him, did they do this to themselves?
He answers, hands splayed wide, mouth
on the verge of sickly sweet,
by pressing an olive to my lips. He tells me
to stop asking questions

MADELYN MCZEAL is a queer eighteen-year-old African American girl from Houston, Texas. She enjoys old books, rainy days, and unfinished poems. She is an editor of Zig Zag Zine, a small publication for women, POC, and members of the LGBT+ community. More information about the zine can be found at and her own poetry can be found at