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  • Jennifer Preston Chushcoff



There is a desert that

waits for water.

No. It doesn’t wait.

It burns,

it falls in on itself

it shakes its brittle layers

into sheets of dry parchment

an ancient, lost lakebed

its back

sunburnt into split layers

of fractured skin


Now. Can you feel the need?

Can you sense this eager thirst?

“Before I leave.

Before I go away

for good,”

it seems to say

“Know that I am here

underneath this stricken

pose. Know that I am here.

I am here

in this wasteland

where drought has

dried my bones.”

And you are the answer

you are the

deluge, the cloudburst

you are the rainstorm

you are the fresh, green field

the cool hands of

quiet night.

You are the clean breeze

of late autumn afternoons.

Redemption is written on

your skin

your soft touch

something so simple,

so free to give.

The desert is growing.

The desert is gone.


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