The sun came up to invent thirst
again. The people walked slowly to the well.
The brimming shimmer made
their faces shine as if they were
divine. Not to spill was the most sacred duty,
women walking slow and sure,
their bodies the meniscus of us all.
Water rose, it fell on glances, the commune
of daily village dirt laved away,
age-old tides lapping womb-rooms,
boy meets girl. Death meant Again I am
no longer seeking water. Love
was cupped hands, the way to soothe
any wound. Ripples were all the news. Now
we tap and pour behind closed doors.
No one recollects the pool of us,
no one feels how right it is to slake a thirst
in company. Such deep secrets
we keep to ourselves. These days
there are so many shades, walls, droughts.
More and more we drink alone.
David Citino is the author of twelve volumes of poetry, most recently The News and Other Poems (University of Notre Dame Press) and The Book of Appassionata: Collected Poems and The Invention of Secrecy (both from Ohio State University Press). Paperwork (Kent State University Press), a collection of essays, was published in 2004. He is contributing editor of The Eye of Poetry: Six Views of the Art and Craft of Poetry (Oxford), and teaches at Ohio State, where he is Poet Laureate of the University.