The sidewalk wears a sunset of rot. Brittle wrought iron, sloughing oxidation and peeling paint hems lapping seams. The reservoir is crimped secure. Signs warn us not to trespass, water only wet for our eyes. Wary fingertips page parched foxtail split ends, how many bodies one handful can rip, barbs drawn down into useless blades, hay and seeds crush unsaid into roughage. Silence inflates lungs with sticky humidity. Doves flee our sleeves, slipping through the barricade, their last great trick, drowning in water that isn’t ours. Still, ducks splash down, perfect skipped stones, while we examine our hands close, to check for blood and rust. ____
Andrea Krause (she/her) lives in Portland, Oregon. She introverts inconspicuously on Twitter at @PNWPoetryFog. In the summer, you can find her resting in a hammock between giants.