Tell me about your thirst.
— Mary Carroll-Hackett

This is not the time to raise a glass,
drink deeply from some crystal stream,
find words to toast a different future.   

I’d rather speak of gnawing hunger,
the way it undermines my sleep, my hope, 
how it never leaves dreams’ table satisfied,  

no matter how much or often it gets fed
by masochistic urges to reassemble
things not meant to be that lie undone.

Thirst tears at my tongue and throat,
but never tries to breach the pericardium,
the place that holds my memories.