An Offering

Image by Lauren Frank

How much bleach do you think we need to scrub the sky?
you’d say, looking up at the black clouds
on our walks to school
we held hands
and pretended the water
falling from the heavens was lava,
sprinting from each open garage
to every empty dry porch,
only those leaky shelters
and our hoodies
protection from the wet apocalypse
I hated the rain
and you hated the rain
until those few weeks in February                                   
when you tried to grow corn
because your father said you couldn’t
How confident you were
that the parched dirt
deserted of moisture
in that sorrowful drought
would bring your crop to harvest
After school and in your room
you couldn’t wait
to tell me about your research
on ancient botanical practices
Like how the Mayans would thrust
loved ones into wells,  
turning those
deep black mouths
into wet graves
Sacrifices to satisfy rain deities
so they’d summon a hose
to spray the thirsty earth
Blue bodies bathed and buried
in dark pools where only moss and tears
grazed the surface
All so maize would sprout
from the ground you lifted me
tauntingly offering me
to withering divinities
in order to dampen
the brittle atmosphere            
in the name of your shriveled up corn husks
I laughed and agreed
Give me back to the elements then
But instead of throwing me into a well
you threw me onto your bed

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