EVEN THE LAND IS TIRED | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Palm fronds reflected in raindrops on a car windshield. Courtesy of arbyreed/Flickr.

I woke to rain
and wondered if that meant
the sky was trying

to be a prayer. Teary-eyed
and drooping are the clouds
inside my voice.

No one ever taught
water to speak. Instead
shapes form

wherever there is space—
On the sidewalk
a thin veneer, on trees

a jeweled collar. Having
wants does not
mean God

is real any more than
water makes us clean.
I’m not sold on anyone’s

goodness, but hell, I know
exists. In this place
where even the land

is tired children breathe
out twilight
in their cries

and my eyes cannot count
all the windows
kept closed.

Meriwether Clarke is a poet and educator living in Los Angeles. Her work has recently been published in Prairie Schooner, Gigantic Sequins, and Tin House.
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