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trickle in the desert—

it takes so little water

to make a song

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It is not only that the desert longs for water.
Of course the water longs for desert, too.
Any raindrop can fall and get lost in an ocean,
but to fall where it’s parched, where just
the smallest amount of wet can launch a hundred
hundred blooms, can set ten thousand thousand
seeds into frothy flight, oh. Now that is something
worth falling for. No imaginary desert. The real thing,
all prickle and spine and thorn and barb.
And the petals after. The heat can spend months
holding off just the briefest sprinkle. But then
no one said it was going to be easy, this going
where we’re needed most. Patience is the marriage
of sweetness and sting. To bring life one must also be alive.

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Stop trying to understand it,
this falling in love with the scent
of cliff rose and heliotrope.
Just fall into the sweetness
and keep on falling.

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On a day when the desert potholes
are full of pollywogs and tiny
red-speckled frogs and the blue sky
is dappled with pink-bellied clouds,
and the San Juan is running muddy
and warm, well, you don’t have to have almost just died
to realize how lucky you are to be alive—
nope, it just comes natural, this wanting
to kiss your children, even though
they are whining all day about how
the desert is just full of rocks
and it’s so boring. Yeah, it just kind of happens,
this flash flood of gratitude, this falling in love
with everything dust can do.

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