Bawb, look, the sky looks like it needs a skywash.”

Those were the words spoken to me by the kid next door
age three and a half
in that little girl voice
as she pointed her water pistol up in the air
took aim
and tried to wash away the clouds

It usually arrives somewhere
between six and seven.
When the air during the day feels so thick
and chewy
you swear that you can taste it
or choke on it

When in a matter of moments the temperature
drops ten or fifteen degrees
and wipes away the thin film of sweat
that’s covered you throughout the day

When the lighting sizzles and cracks
and you don’t have time to count the seconds
until you feel the rumble of the thunder
and it sounds so loud
it might as well be coming from inside
your own head

When raindrops the size of small stones
smack against the street and make the steam rise
and they fall in a torrent so quickly and with such force
that the rooftop gutters overflow
and the excess pours down on your old Weber grill
and the sound they make reminds you of a
steel drum in a calypso band

When the lights inside your home flicker
and wink at you
as if they held a secret that they were unwilling to tell
and the spray you get from the safety of your porch
makes you feel clean
and new

And in a matter of moments
it’s over
and the sun peeks out a bit from the west
before calling it a night
and a little girl
age three and a half
peeks her head out of her door
to make sure the storm has passed

And you say to her
“Look Ella, you did it, you washed the sky!”
and she smiles at you and runs back inside
to tell her mom that it’s safe
to go outside again
and in her bare feet
she dances in the puddles
and giggles
the way only a child can