Grown Out of Drought

You were born out of your father’s burst

ulcer, in the middle of the dead woods.

He carried you through a thirsting desert,

on the edge of a fire-fond town,

to a cabin of sheet metal and claimed

it as your home.

                                       You wanted

to be the son of a river.

When you told him your father

spat into the seared soil

he said your mother was a frozen creek

half-a-nation away and began to fill

every well with cement.

You loitered at the supermarket and spoke

to bottles of water, calling them your cousins.

You thought of planting a hatchet

in the back of every townie

who swallowed one whole.

When they caught you shoving bottles

in your backpack, they pinned your arms

and tore off

                          your boots and socks

They beat the bottoms of your feet

with a cedar club till

your heels looked like two dying suns.

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