It took a few months for my skin to readjust 

to the heat, to the sun, to the lack of humidity. 

At first it was papery dry and I was 

thirsty thirsty thirsty for water all the time. 

 

Drink a glass in the morning before coffee, 

a few times during the day, one at night before bed.

Put on some sunscreen and turn brown anyway. 

Straighten my hair and watch something familiar appear in the mirror.

 

Pick out drought tolerant plants for the garden. 

The marine layer will drag the essence right out of their cells

and by God you will not miss the oils thick on the air.

Stand still for a minute and breathe it in, holy shit.

 

My friend up north says there can’t possibly be anything real here—

it’s all matte paintings and air freshener exhaust. 

The wildflowers take a sip from the odd morning shower

and then explode with Spring.

 

I hiked up Cahuenga Peak to see 360 degrees of the city in 360 degree heat, 

found dozens of rock stacks and people, sipping at canteens,

tying wishes in the Wisdom Tree, scribbling in journals, breathing, praying. 

We are all mostly water.

 

For a hot minute I felt like a foreigner, returning to my home,

intimidated by the freeway until I remember it flows like a river.

The roads are slick after a long dry spell, 

but now I know how to drive in the rain.