LETISIA CRUZ &




A monsoon, a seasonal wind, reverses direction between summer and winter and usually brings heavy rains. Many of us are fascinated by precipitation. Is it the smell? Technically, rain itself has no scent. Petrichor, the word used to describe the scent, refers to the decomposition of organic material fused with soil, rock, and minerals. What we smell is the release of plant oils and soil-dwelling bacteria into the air, not the rain itself.


Moreover, the shape of a raindrop is not technically a teardrop as we so often imagine. Due to the surface tension at the top and the rate at which they fall, raindrops tend to flatten at the bottom like pancakes. (Mmm. Pancakes.)


Our fascination with rain extends into our moods. Have you felt the sorrow of a rainy afternoon or experienced fear at the threat of a lightning storm? Similarly, nightmares of floods, drowning, and apocalyptic doom are among the most common recurring dreams. On the other hand, although the percentage is small, research suggests that some individuals suffer from seasonal affective disorder – in the summer! Perhaps these individuals find particular comforts in the rain. Regardless, it’s clear that one person’s perception of the rain will not be the same as another’s, and things are not always what they seem.


ISSUE 34 of Petite Hound Press features poetry by Jessie Vail Aufiery and artwork by Alyse C. Bernstein. This pairing captures not only the shape and scent of rain but also its sound, that of water falling “with a breath of hot asphalt,” of comets soaring toward earth, of ancient voices—the ones we’ve always known and the ones we no longer recognize—of a beluga whale swimming across our living room, and of “everyone coming in / all the lights still out.”

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POET Jessie Vail Aufiery is a fiction writer, poet, and translator. She is the World Literature Editor for The Literary Review, and has an MFA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She lives with her husband and twin daughters in Miami. You can read some of her recent work in issue #2 of jai-alai magazine, Issue 31 of Petite Hound Press, and in the anthology Paris, Etc.: Writing and Illustrations. Find her online at: www.jessievailaufiery.com


ARTIST Alyse C. Bernstein is a Philadelphia-based visual artist. She began studying lithography while at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, a medium she has spent close to two decades extensively practicing, studying, and teaching. Her work, which also includes textiles and other media, is preoccupied with nature, mainly representing a variety of animal forms. 



Editors' Notes Sources:


NBC News. (2011, July 1). SAD in the summer? Sunshine depression rare, but real. Retrieved from http://bodyodd.nbcnews.com/_news/2011/07/01/6984639-sad-in-the-summer-sunshine-depression-rare-but-real?lite


Shepherd, Marshall. (2015, Nov. 2). “4 Odd Facts About Rain.” Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/marshallshepherd/2015/11/02/4-odd-facts-about-rain/#1cfb04e72f45

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