Baptism

by Michelle Boland Issue: Spring 2019
“California's water conservation habits, refined and improved over five years of drought, are quickly
evaporating.” The Mercury News, March 10, 2018

This is the start of our greed, the need
to pierce our thirst. If our graven idol

be carved, then let our knives carve
deeply without hitting bone.

Who are we, if not addicts who seed
clouds above the milk powder desert

to hydrate its dust into a living thing?
Serpentine thirst cauterizes our insides

so we are cotton-mouthed, unable to swig
from sources we didn’t hustle.

From our obsession with golf greens and
swimming pools emanates full immersion;

our bodies crown at the surface chokered
in dregs from the aqueduct floor.


Michelle Boland

Michelle Boland is a poet and essayist whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bellevue Literary Review, Black Fox Literary Magazine, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, among others. She holds an MFA from Lesley University and is a reader for Harvard Review. She’s currently at work on her first full collection of poems.