The rain lily blooms on a windowsill during our drought
and everything feels like an island desert now.
All that is happening is happening only now
but that is not understanding an island or a desert.
Sometimes I define livable as an equation
of all I have to hide underneath.
But the nonlinear, unqualified look
in the cow’s marble eyes rings
I’m afraid we are both being used
against ourselves –
I want to sterilize her.
Sometimes my dreams are so real
they are a lifeline.
Only half my family migrated west and
it takes me twenty years to realize
why a memory stays or goes.
As far as excuse can carry a family
it is not far enough.
My grandmother didn’t cry at the passing of time
but took my hands instead –
small fists of great basin sage
and clutched god’s eyes.
When there’s no more water – when I want more from a loss
couldn’t we have stored the salt
from our eyes to drink instead.
Let it carry us across
the island desert.
Before cutting the sage
I gave my reserves to her instead.
Crouching there beside (hidden)
my back twisted into the pained shape
of her splitting trunk.