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Drought in Austin

i wrote a poem for you on my wrists,
imagining my veins blooming through
skin and tangling with your arteries:
holding hands long distance. a stranger told me
to scrub away all my tacky words
because it isn’t good for girls
to mark their arms in the name of
something short of love. i replied
that my arms are an empty reservoir waiting
for you to fall in; i am only measuring
how much i have at the moment.
we are in drought stage 2:
water restrictions. and our time
is always restricted, never
deep enough to steep in your voice or
heavy enough for your gaze to soak
into my bones. i am always tipping
my face skyward for the next drop soft
on my skin like rain, like this poem, like echoes of
your phrases and distant thunder that
fills my head for days. but
it is burning in both our cities,
and i am praying there will be
snow this year, the kind you fell in love with:
a texas flurry, something short of trapping,
a few drops of wonderland for us to walk in.
i plucked an eyelash for every mile
we would have to cross, closed the distance
with wishes as they fell from my fingertips.
i’ll arrange the wicks of snuffed stars
into a map, scatter embers along
the interstate as i head back home and
look for your reflection in sunshowers.
i wish i could love the slopes of this desert, but
i am ever dreaming of rising rivers and
meeting you on the banks. and watching
you run to me to meander through
emerald quiet together, i believe
in invisible strings pulling our hearts closer.
even when we part, we won’t
say goodbye because the tide
always comes back in.



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