The Water Never Forgets

I find a new friend and lightly tap her on the shoulder. Is it okay if I lay here, in this spot where the sun shines? Is this the place you read books? Is this where your cat gently walks? I reach out to feel the soft pink on the pads of her feet - like tiny buds that are closing in the moon.

I find my new friend in the most intimate of moments when I walk through her house - the past colliding with this present social interaction. I feel I should look away but reach my hands out instead to catch the offering - I don’t want to miss it.

I find the hallway that she paces during the middle of the night. I find the worry she has so carefully stored below her bathroom sink. I find the pipes in her house to be ghosts instead of strong, tin warriors. They are so silent.

There is a drought.

She pees in the garden, her lower spine shaking in the sun - she doesn’t waste her water on the fluid of her body.

This is how it is - to live in the desert.

I find traces of fear she has placed on the steps leading up to her bedroom - the one that overlooks the mountain who grows purple and yellow in the fall.

The desert dwellers ask, “Will I have to leave these cracked places in the Earth and the round Sun?”

These are our most feared questions. Who would we be without the purple sky crooning in our ears? How would we sleep without the sage scratching at our backs? How would we know how to live without parched lips?

We are in a lovers dance with this desert. We cannot be cured.

Don’t worry new friend - you won’t have to leave. The water will come back - it always does. It is only us who forget that we lack nothing.

The water never forgets.

Jen AntillComment