We were gobsmacked--these people were acting as if water just falls magically from the sky!
We don’t think that way. We empty our water bottles onto the potted plants. We keep buckets in the tub to collect the running water while the shower heats up. When Grimbert was small, he walked outside one day and discovered that it was raining. He looked up into the sky, puzzled, and said: “Bath?” He didn’t know what it was. We live in a place where a child can learn to walk and talk before ever getting rained on.
Here’s Fatima hanging out by the city walls of an evening:
I thirsted for the brooks, the showers:
I roll'd among the tender flowers:
I crush'd them on my breast, my mouth;
I look'd athwart the burning drouth
Of that long desert to the south.
“Drought,” on the other hand, rhymes with “trout.”
I personally think “trout” makes for a much sexier rhyme. If Fatima is swooning all over the place like this, she may need more sustenance than she’s getting from a diet of longing and houseplants. A little snack could set her up nicely. And I will attest that my husband’s grilled trout wrapped in bacon makes people burst into blossom with some regularity.
Just imagine--it could go something like this:
The wind sounds like a silver wire,
And from beyond the noon a fire
Is pour'd upon the hills…
Because Fatima’s drought seems a long way from breaking. At the end of the poem she is left hanging “naked in a sultry sky” and vowing that she will possess her lover or die trying. But it’s clear this is going nowhere. She said so earlier herself:
Before he mounts the hill I know
He cometh quickly.
Stick with the trout.