the neighbors who begged it built are astonished

they can no longer see the river
taste it sweeten it for the fevered child

Where the wall meets the river
the neighbors cease to be neighbors

they can no longer see beyond themselves
their hands in front of their own faces

Where the river meets the wall
the river doesn’t care

goes on being river thrusting itself against
all obstacles carrying whatever needs carrying

When the general gall threatens to leak
into my hoarded throat I remind myself

the bitterness is on the public tongue
the salt sown into some other earth not mine