Water Census

IMG_0056I told you this would happen. You’d wake in the morning and drain your thoughts into the rain barrels stored near the bricks your ancestors used to lay. Just remember this planet is a living being and you, these days, you are more than a census taker. Stop counting people and money.

This is what we will count. One dog bark every 6.5 seconds, 17 morning bird noises, the house plumbing, the distant hum of the fridge, 1 luna moth, 4 young foxes, 86 books in Italiano, 2 – 6 yard rabbits, 3 books en Español, 87 books, 3 booklets and 12 chapbooks in what’s left of American English, 76 poems scattered in pieces of Acoma and Hebrew and Mohawk lifting, 5 clear recordings of my great grandmother’s confessions, the confessions she left in Ontario, a tub of anise oil, another tub of coconut oil, 28 vats of Spanglish words determined to be impatient expressions and a thousand chihuahuas running in one direction. Away from the Ocean. *Keep in mind, the sea is a language.


Flash future. Before the drinkable water ran out. Before the birds flew. On another day.                 In another place. You will have ripped open a cotton shirt. You will have no nipples, no chest, just a mark where the seatbelt continues to invest in bruising the sternum. Everyone’s sternum. With that kind of friction, with that kind of collision, you can expect to get hurt.

The skin you had, we had, will wash away like bed linens released from their restrictive, impressive clothes lines. Free to the wind. My heart, our hearts will be made of bubble wrap and my lungs, your lungs will be filled with the disorganized coils of video reels. Everything will be turning and twisting so that no Doctor could possibly accurately diagnose what it means to be filled with the short films of passersby. This is the life of an empath. Before your days end, sweet friend, promise me, yourself, the sky, promise me you’ll donate your body to Art while you’re living.


Stay Conneceted and Woke.

Love Always,

Elizabeth Mariani