Praying for Drought

— Leah Tieger

I remember water pooling below
the back steps

arched beam beneath
curving away
from square frame.

I remember trying to ignore it,
trying to sleep

and the pillow
propped up for reading.
I remember holding
the suffering world
in a screen

trying to tuck
each stricken face away
with the machine that bears them

and failing.
I remember shutting the bedside drawer anyway.

I try to remember the radiant weight
of fleece and cotton
and the slumbering man

drawing me closer even
in sleep.

I know there was rain
singing itself once more
against the siding.

I think I slept.
I remember waking
to run water in a pot

letting it run

and letting it run
until the lip spills over.

I poured away excess.
I did not forget

to catch the simmer
before the boil

to turn water into coffee
and share it

sipped in the quiet
of crisis unmentioned.

I remember locking the door
when the man left for work,
remember the empty bed

and two pillows
still warm with his sleep.

I remember
wanting sleep again
and pretending

it is not morning
because there is no sky

for the sun to rise in.
There are no clouds
in this existence.

There is no such thing as rain.

Read more from Issue No. 19 or share on Twitter.