From a prompt by Jyotsna Sreenivasan in the morning fiction class, AWW 2015
Wanting water and green, I walk down the rock steps, down and down and down and down. Whenever I count them, I get a different number, they defy me to quantify. (And what defines one step, and what separates one from the next?) The rocks are damp today, I think about whether I’ll slip and fall, the treachery I might endure for reaching outside myself. On my way down, I mark smooth friendly jewel-weed, wonder if it’s true that poison ivy always grows nearby.
Down and down, always this quest for metallic water, this iron, this water, these rocks not yellow but orange, as every observant child informs every distracted adult. My quest, my prolonged drought when I moved across the country, and back, needing the water of home. I can never get enough of that water, that water becomes food, and feeds me, pours itself down the orange-painted rock and into its loving vessel, its child, me. The metal in that water is never bitter to me, but sweet, and worth the vertigo.