the rain is coming. she can feel it in her fingertips, which are tingling and warm. the ground has been dry for almost seventeen months, the earth barren and empty, thirsty and desperate. she stands with her feet in the dust, dust that she stopped battling weeks ago. it is in her hair, her fingernails, caught down in the depths of her pores, settled stubbornly into her sinuses. she digs her feet in further and is still, hardly distinguishable from the earth. 

if someone dares to breathe on her, she will crumble. if the wind blows just right, she’ll disintegrate, completing the steady transformation from woman to dust, sealing her fate as little more than a happening, an unusual patch of earth barely noticeable in the expanse of the bleached out landscape . her bones will crack, the precious marrow bleeding into the dry ground, momentarily quieting its cries for moisture. her organs will break open,  groaning and releasing enzymes into the earth, further decomposing the already minuscule bodies of matter that reside there. her skin will crystalize, growing thinner and more translucent until it takes its permanent form of the thousands and thousands of sparkly grains of sand that will get caught between the toes of those who will travel these grounds in the coming years.

her tongue is stuck firmly to the roof of her mouth. her eyes are dry and wide in sockets that seem too large and empty for her face. unconsciously, she rubs her thumb and forefinger together and is only mildly affected by the unusual heat that radiates out from this tiny friction. she presses them together a second time and scarcely notices when the molecules moving between them are electric and alive. this spark travels through her fingers and into her hands, from her hands to her wrists, then up her arms and into her neck, her chest, her abdomen, 

and she is quiet, waiting. 

she is calm as the heat reaches her heart and spreads through her veins like wildfire, and she is quiet, burning.

tiny blue flames inexplicably appearing at the corners of her mouth, at the ends of her hair. the dust, so thick and dry on her skin, is like kindling and this creature, part woman part earth mere moments before, is ablaze, flames crawling up and out from between her legs, from behind her shoulder blades. she crackles and collapses and makes not a sound, her tongue still rooted firmly to the top of her mouth as the rest of her parts are taken over by silvery heat. her body violently but contently becomes part of the air, reduces into a pile of glowing ashes in the dust.

somewhere far away, there is a clap of thunder.

somewhere far away, it starts to rain.