p
o
e
m
s

Not all wells are tapped. Some draw sufficient

to run a hose to a house, the low sulfur cloud

a mark of the wet-mouth advantaged. As if that’s

not enough, they buy the sprays in shades

like police-tape yellow or this-is-not-yours red,

so I can’t believe The Kid who, in broad Tuesday light,

slinks under sills to unscrew nozzles and tug

the umbilical weight of rushing water all the way

to his mother’s corroded truck bed, where they go

to work. She, bent over like she’s burying a sin;

The Kid with arms raised revival, pouring whatever

don’t spill at the air into their drought tank.

My mother, hairnet tied fist-tight at the back,

was made to cook; she left early, returned late,

and dark raced dark in her shift. That was the days

of commissaries, when sharing was plenty. The Kid

don’t know those days. Love is funny, in that it’s dead

but not dead.

Rebecca Gayle Howell is the author of Render / An Apocalypse, which was selected by Nick Flynn for the Cleveland State University First Book Prize and was a 2014 finalist for ForeWord Review’s Book of the Year. She is the poetry editor at Oxford American.

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