This Desert


I thought I heard thunder.
And then I smelled rain.
I ran to the window before I realized
my husband had the shower running.

Winter starved me dry,
and now we are in a dry spring.
They warn of prairie fires,
and I walked by cracked circles of dirt today,
hollowed out patches where nothing will green.
Even my lips are dry.
When I wake up in the morning,
I pull long strips from them,
line them up on my sheets,
and poke them once they’ve dried to crisps.

This desert claims us for itself.
No, this is a lie,
but it feels true.
It’s crawled up through my cracked heels,
over stretch marks itching with movement,
out to the brittle ends of my hair.
I am already in those cracked circles of dirt.
I can feel the eyes down there watching me,
waiting patiently while I toe the soil with my boot.
It knows me already.
It’s just waiting for me to say hello.

April is National Poetry Month, so I’m publishing poetry for NaPoWriMo throughout the month.