Wadi el Qelt

The desert reminds me that thirst is right and proper.
That something’s not right if I am not thirst. Imprisoned
in rock walls, drenching the kefiya I was swindled,
I could not believe it when, after hours, I heard a flowing,
and, refreshed as if by the sound itself, trudged forward
to find only the anxious clicking of a dried oleander.
I swear I had heard streams. Chimes of those dead fingers
now create a ringing that floods the path with
a certain touch of desperation, the air dry and thick as
the sun prowled like the sights of a sniper. And so,
when we heard the hollow clanking of the shepherd’s bell
and saw cone-eyed goats kneeling over the swelling canal,
as if worshipping, I realized, in my thirst, right and proper,
that water, instead, is always, and in every case, a miracle.