BY SUSAN TEPPER
When you screw open the water bottle it rips the skin on your palm. There are lines in your palm there, but not your life line. That runs higher. The rip is in that fleshy part you call your oasis. You think about water under there, a whole city of date-palms and sand and low clay hovels with people squatting outside cooking on small fires. It bothers you to have this shallow wound puncturing your oasis. Your life line doesn’t seem all that long anymore. When you were younger it seemed endless like it stretched off your hand into outer space. Now you rub the wound with your other index finger. It’s bloody and slightly raised. When you get to the oasis, will there be a place for you to stay?
Susan Tepper is the author of “What May Have Been:Letters of Jackson Pollock & Dori G” (with Gary Percesepe) published by Cervena Barva Press. Other books include “Deer & Other Stories” (Wilderness House Press, 2009) and the poetry chapbook “Blue Edge.” Tepper was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2010 by Gargoyle magazine. It is her sixth nomination.