Thirst

I don’t know why the grocery was crowded,
densely packed with bodies,
jammed together like the potatoes in their bin.

There were too many carts to move through,
so I stood still in the traffic like a commuter
trying to make it back to the suburbs
like everybody else.

It gave me time to look down the aisles
that I didn’t want to travel,
to wonder at the magnificent array
A hundred soups. A thousand cereals.
A million choices.

The flood of drinks overwhelmed me most,
a whole aisle to themselves,
without counting the booze.
Ninety feet of alternatives
for people thirsting for more than water.

People thirst for more and more,
sweet, bitter, sour, savory,
flavors by the dozens,
berry, leaf and root,
bottled in the by-products of oil,
which was a by-product of life long ago
and time,
which separates us now from
the age when what we craved most
was water.

Water,
piped to our homes,
chilled or iced or heated like magic,
evoking envy in all the lifeless planets,
its plenty essential to the flourishing of our age,
a marvel our ancestors could not imagine,

Yet still not good enough for us.