Drought

Each week the leaves eke
their almond shape.
Thumbprint of red spreads
over a shade of green
summer dreams
as it sleeps
in snowfall.
How does the desert
get so alive?
Joshua trees wave
their white hands
in Southern California
close to the ocean.
This state
holds more water.
For the next year
at least. It swims
in public pools, snakes
through bean stalks
and ears of corn—
stretches a cactus tongue to catch
the last drops.

Marie Landau is an editor at the University of New Mexico Press and a member of Dirt City Writers, an Albuquerque-based literary collective. Her poems have appeared in ditch,.

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