As Published in Poetry South 2022

Midday dusk and 

a low croak of thunder;

everything in this place 

aches for it, 

every jaundiced blade of grass, 

every rasping throat.

But we are not delivered, 

no silver spill of storm

rousing creek-rush,

not a single bead of rain 

anointing chapped earth, 

summoning steam’s hiss 

from blacktop griddles

like whispered prayer. 

Drought prevails, low lid of 

steel-wool clouds growing vaporous 

beneath the sun’s dogged gaze; 

that unblinking eye of kiln-heat 

and bleached light blithely damning 

us to perpetual swelter, searing 

each last lick of green and spit 

from what heedless life remains.