Not many saw the ruff of creeping froth
that lipped its way up sleeping cul-de-sacs,
slow-moving skim of water sheeting streets
the way a spring tide edges over sandy grass;
some stumbled onto unfamiliar sogginess
—workers leaving for an early shift—
felt the softness of a carpet waterlogged,
frowned briefly at the crystal sky;
rats ran, cats hunkered down to watch
the black tide climb; the moon
looked the other way.

And then it slid back down, discreet
as it had come, grass and asphalt clean
of any lick of silt. Next day the headlines
blazoned: Slo-mo Tsunami Mystery,
Gravity Defied, Sci-fi Horror Flood…

Priests cautioned against mass hysteria,
the president dismissed a terror plot.
But somewhere in the quiet turn of night
a woman filled three bottles. Assayed
three times, double-blind, three times the printout
read the same: nothing to report. The water
bore no history, content-free it came,
a message from the place where story ends.