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Hoppin'

July 2012

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Hoppin'

Embudo Arroyo

Life follows even the ghost of water;
miles of weeds, cactus,
sumac trees, an occasional elm
grow in the narrow, dry space between
cinderblock walls delimiting back yards
and the angled cement banks of the arroyo -

which itself is dry most days, or
holding only a feeble trickle, sprinkler
or car-washing runoff. The arroyo waits
for the rare days when heavy rains
pour along the mile-high eastern upslope
of the valley and come sluicing down
at once -

sweeping the concrete clean, pouring
the city's dust and detritus into the Rio Grande
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