To Become the Desert
Patricia Belote

To Become the Desert

We are mostly water before we are dust.
The body’s clues are self-evident.
Parched soles crack and veins rise
from furrowed hands.
These blue channels, like rivulets,
sluice, surging as long as they can.
Riddled shell: bones evaporate to this.
My mother’s nonagenarian leg
seeps an ocean through a single pore.
Countless fresh towels
or a thousand fingers pressing
will avail nothing
but the scorch
of astonished helplessness.
Copious flow: her waters want to join
the sea. To surrender her wetlands—
thirst, quench, brackish tears, years
brimmed with sweet moisture.
To become the desert, at last.

Patricia Belote

is the author of the poetry chapbook Traveling Light (Finishing Line Press). Her recent poems have appeared in The Healing Muse, U.S. 1 Worksheets, Saw Palm: Florida Literature and ArtMeridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, and elsewhere.