This Dry Bed

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October 3, 2016 by The Citron Review

by Sandra Kolankiewicz

But that was before the birdlike woman
whose name I can’t remember now, though she  

        made me so unhappy with her vibrant
        smallness, her inexhaustible movement

which once kept her thin while by that time we
had no choice.  All I have wanted to drink

        since then is water, what I ask for, my
        tongue telling whether or not minerals

were added after it was first stripped of
key periodic elements, life peeled

        away like some scar on the fabric that
        binds the organs of matter together,

at the edge of whatever universe
where the leaves on the trees have been plucked if

        only by boredom even in a glass
        of water.  I came to this dry bed where

a flood has always been possible till
now, any moisture left hanging in the

        air like a memory lingering to
        become dew, the sparrows beginning at

dawn even before I see them, nervous
and without history in the new day.

Sandra Kolankiewicz’s work has most recently appeared in Per Contra, New World Writing, Crannog, Pudding House, and Prairie Schooner.

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