The water is out again today,
unannounced as usual,
except for the gasping hiss
of the faucet.
They never let us know.
You always find out
naked and ready for a bath,
toothbrush poised in mid-air.

I wonder if the water is out
on the other side of town,
that is to say a block away,
I think not.

Our three-house block seems
to have some kind of bad water karma.
The amateur water department,
a couple of guys drinking beer,
digs holes and makes trips into town
for PVC or joints or God
knows what.

Sometimes they succeed for a day or so,
sometimes longer – a few months
at the most.
It is not one of the local charms
but one of its truths.

This life I am living
is no accident. I wanted
to get farther from the grid,
if not off it altogether.
So here I am,
without water.

Across the lake
people lead safer lives,
protected by a municipal
water district.
From where I sit
I see their large homes
with the red tile roofs
we are supposed to have
to make us more indestructible.
That has never been
the life for me. There is
not enough Earth to it,
too much wall-to-wall,
too many appliances,
too many rooms filled
with too many things.

I contemplate
a move a block away
and hope the water
is truer over there,
though I fear the dishwasher,
to say nothing of the trash compactor.
So I remain a bit afraid to commit,
for fear the other side of the lake
is moving over here,
and I might yet be
a part of it.