March 2, 2019
some of my students were calling each other ghetto yesterday
a flow of words coming through the door
scrutinizing hair and clothing for signs of poverty
then we watched Lion , and they saw the ghettos of Calcutta
they asked why people washing clothes in the river
why that boy wore the same thing every day
and I told them how so many people don’t have running water
hundreds of people bathing, pooping, washing clothes, all in that same river
and my students’ flow of words slowed.
When I got home the water was out
workers digging through the street up the block
water flowing down my street like a river
I cooked rice with bottled water
and woke up to no shower and no place to poop
that meme says you value every drop of water
once you’ve had to carry it yourself
but for how long?
How do I hold this gratitude
for my hoarded emergency plastic water bottles
and the bathroom at the coffee shop up the street past the water main break?
How long will our water systems hold up?
When will they be just broken aqueducts like the ones in Rome?
water cannot be hoarded as easily as money or power
it is living and wants to flow down or evaporate up
whether floodstage or drought
we can corral but not tame it
it runs us