A warehouse mountain of empty 
plastic bottles on which a woman 
sits, tearing off labels and counting: 
three liters of water are needed
to make just one of these. A line
of children waiting at the town's 
one rusted water pump, plastic pails 
nearly half their height in each hand. 
They'll walk however many dusty miles 
it takes to get home, vowing not to spill 
one drop. Gulls trawl the air above the sea,
rewarding no one with their industry;
they're told that's why their wings 
are dun. The year I was born, scientists
at CalTech suggested there could be ice
in the moon's polar craters. Fifty-
nine years later, NASA confirms
there's water on the sunlit
surface of the moon. Warming 
days pass; what used to be slow 
is now swift. A diver wanted to carve
a chunk from an iceberg in Antarctica
and tow it by ship to Cape Town.  
When it rains on the first day
of the year, we tell each other: 
may blessings fall upon you like this.
After all, the brain and heart 
are 73% water; the wing-shaped lungs, 
83%. The skin is 64% water; even 
that system of ivory-colored 
marimba keys making up your bony 
skeleton craves water. 


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