I've been dry as the ground, this season. The grass had turned to straw and twine. Smoke billowed from a new hill every day and even the deck wood and telephone poles looked thirsty on the backdrop of crispy beige foliage, parched.
Crumpled and bitter, I've fought my tongue around every corner. Thirsty, threadbare, and dried in drought, dust was all I could manage to cultivate upon these lips, and from this weary heart, gasping.
And though I had better things to do, things that couldn't wait, I pulled out the paint box and dirtied my brushes and smothered the canvas large as life with paint and longing. It felt like air and space, so I opened windows, then, and dotted frantic with the mix of pink and white, and I was a fish, brushstroke by brushstroke, caught and released, and released, and released, and released.
Children slept and hours passed, one and then another, dark but for the colors on the canvas, and with the music swirling, I smelled it strong and sudden. Struck with alertness like a whiff of strong coffee, I recognized in the dryness the aroma of rain.
The ground opened to receive it and my heart opened to receive it and I could breathe again, breath so full it tasted like color. I swam. And the music and the rain and dust made painted fingerprints upon that canvas where my soul spilled in splats and curves. I laid awake and watched it fall until clouds and trees were backlit with foggy air and it's all still hanging there this morning…a misty linger like even the air doesn't want to let go.
The TV tells me we'll be dry again in an hour but I plead silent with my eyes to the sky like I'm pleading with a lover not to go, not to go.