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​YOU CAN’T DRINK THE WATER HERE

Flora Leask

She eyes him
From the side
So slyly
Imagines him sliding
Through the taps
And dropping
To the sink


Or falling
From the sky
Wind calling
Out her name


But the heavens stay dry


Not like home
Where river runs
The street – pours
Over surfaces
And climbs
On all fours
From miserable
Misty shores
Coughed from local’s lungs
And their eyes close
As they catch it on their tongues


You can’t drink the water here


The dry
Fastens onto skin
Split lips
And pavements fry
Shimmering
Praying
At the shrine of illusion
Until fades the oasis
And the elderly die 


Illusion – dry throated
Emptiness
That slakes no thirst
It burns the belly
With its hidden acidity
Temptation’s cursed
This dry city

She eyes him
From the side
So slyly
And sighs
Thirsty