It rode around with us for weeks
afterwards, crumpled and misshapen
and slowly getting more and more battered
by the city’s jolting roads. Lying
on the floorboards, it rolled forwards,
diagonally, then back to the seat, and I
watched it now and then when you would
reverse. You looked straight into the
blind space your mirrors couldn’t reach,
but always over, over the empty
recyclable plastic bottle that was so
precious on the day we were parched
for water, for anything to ease the heat.
Thirst will make you reach for the nearest
thing that looks like a cure, will make
you pay too much for it. Sometimes,
remembering how our daily path wore down
that bottle, my throat becomes
sandpaper and my tongue itches and
I wonder if we’re paying still.

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