Map – Issue 29To See the Veins: My Mississippi Pollinator Garden Aimee Nezhukumatathil Before we were married, a man named Dustin would drive four hours from Ohio to western New York to visit me. He smiled and laughed so easy. He dug holes in my yard to plant lilies on his days off.…Please log in or subscribe to continue reading. Explore Related Work: Map – Issue 20The Voices of Birds Kendra Sewall Birds, like people, have dialects. These intonations and manners of communicating can tell listeners where an individual is from, which… Nonfiction – Issue 27Delights Ross Gay The Jenky Yesterday I was working in the yard, getting it into some kind of order (order a very loose… Nonfiction – Issue 24•Monsoon and Peacock Aimee Nezhukumatathil What monsoon can do is give you sweetness in spite of the heavy wet. Even when it rains in Kerala, India, people still ride their colorful scooters, and some even carry a friend or a love along with them. If it is a woman behind the driver, she will sit sidesaddle, wrapped in her sari or churidar. One hand grips only the padded rim of the seat for support, the other holds a black umbrella covering herself and the driver. The thwap-thwap-thwap of raindrops the size of quarters and the scooter’s engine—the only sounds worth noticing on their damp course through the village streets.This rain is never scary, though, even during monsoon. You can tell monsoon is near when you hear a sound like someone shaking a packet of seeds in the distance. A pause—and then the roar. You know it’s coming when the butterflies—fire skippers and bluebottles—fly in abundance over my grandmother’s cinnamon plants and suddenly vanish. A whole family of peacocks will gather up in a banyan tree, so still, as if posing for a seasonal portrait. Then the shaking sound begins.If you could smell the wind from an ecstatic, teeny bat—if you could smell banana leaves drooping low and modest into the ruddy soil, if you could inhale clouds whirring so fast across the sky—that is what monsoon rain smells like.