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
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.