The smell of rain on dry dirt
is a measurement of drought.
Away from the desert, we don’t
talk about drought as much. We’re
concerned about it, but at a distance.
I make vanilla rooibos tea
with kettle water on mornings
when the air isn’t pushed down
by humidity. One common mistake
is to believe there’s no problem here
with water. Distance is fallacy
when we talk about there being
almost two-thousand miles between
the open-mouthed cooler now full
of collected brown tea water
that we left out on the deck this past week
and fire smoke hovering over thirsty
desert land, prayers in flames.
Make a map for me where your tea water
sits on your stove all the way to my kettle,
the land where you are and the land
where I am. Fill up the kettle
with rainwater. Fill up the kettle
with water from river. I’m not even sure
what the river would say to this.
The equation for rain is the absence
of all the car exhaust. I read
about fish being filled up
with anti-depressants, heart meds,
other pharmaceuticals. Fish water
is the length of the water for my tea,
the depth of yours. Every day the rain
is ours, even if we go without.