[June 6]

This is a world ruled by water;
even the sun is reduced to goldfish flashes
beneath a marbled sea of clouds. The air is spiked
with chemical compounds as soothing as their names:
ozone, terpenes, geosmin. They flow across skin
and epithelium alike, leaving behind traces
of mud and memories of lakeside afternoons
long ago. Water hovers, quietly waiting,
an endless, mystic expanse under the bridge I cross
every morning and every night, and it’s becoming harder
and harder to cling to my origins, to remember air scented
not with dampness and mold but with sharp heat. Harder still to
look beyond the words on the news websites and realize
that there really is another woman out there,
one who probably looks very similar to me. She opens
the curtains every morning to look out on a city smeared
with silver and peach, early sun slanting through
billions of dust particles. She is water trains and
rotting mangoes, she is brown eyes glinting amber
in the light, and she cannot possibly imagine a landscape
beaded with hundreds of tiny lakes, heavy with calcium
and iron. Dust, when kicked up
or thrown, hovers in the air like ashes.


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