Drought

Across the weary river,
a ragged stand remains
silent; sentinel to the abandoned confluence
of faith and new ideas,
it watches the current turn backward,
and shallow by the day.

Natives await the new breed,
Homo peregrinus, the wanderers: once again turning
west toward the largest swath,
the widest gap. Touted by rumor and survey,
here is what, preordained,
is about to occur.

As hydrocephalic pilgrims
migrate from moribund suburbs,
and fight their way back
up concrete streams to half-remembered city streets,
another rush begins: soon, all will gladly grant gold
for a single drink.

Even foaming dogs
know a word for the fear of water;
what shall we call the trepidation
that the rains aren’t coming back,
or upon returning,
might wash us all out to sea?

Thirst-mad and searching for refuge,
we dream of where rivers still
rail and carve at the primeval gorge.
While clawing at the dry veins of the nation,
diviners attack the ground
with the intensity of steam-driven machines.

Our future now rests and depends
on the indifference of clouds,
that they may suffer us a shower;
the unearned forgiveness of forest;
and an eternal vigilance
against the persistence of dust.

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