Dearth

vast and unforgiving,
hardpan and caked clay
beneath the rustle of sands,
the swirling of their dresses and shifts;
deep, deep, deep is the water and
here is nothing; day and night,
lifeless and predictable as
the rotation of a foreign planet.
Here are my deep and shallow places;
my sands and my dead seeds,
here I am, standing in the thirst,
here I am, digging for promises
and rumors.

Hope is worse than knowing;
tell a man there’s gold in a hill and
he’ll destroy the hill, the hill will destroy him,
and nothing of note will be found.
Tell a man there’s nothing here,
nothing,
and he will move to green prairie
and ignore those deep, deep,
deep waters.