by Steven Grassel

Puddles everywhere. Water comes from everywhere. Water falls from the sky, out of people’s mouths, pushes through grates in the ground. Car tailpipes are leaking. A man cleans the floors of a restaurant and throws water onto the sidewalk. The water is full of chemicals so it can never freeze. He makes sure not to get the pedestrians wet, but splashing them is unavoidable. The pedestrians are furious when this happens, so he avoids it when possible, but he has a job to do, the floor cleaning and water throwing, so he throws water and keeps his job and deals with the consequences. He is saving money for sunglasses. Then, as the pedestrians wet him with insults, they won’t be able to see his eyes. A feral cat is drinking from a puddle.  She washes the dirt from her claws.  A bus drives though the puddle, washing the cat down through the grate. A feral cat becomes a sewer cat and that is fine. There is food in the sewer, which is all she requires. She licks her clean claws, knowing that there is no need to be above ground. There is a fountain in the middle of a city square.  The fountain does not recycle water. Clean water is piped in and the used water is drained away. If anyone is in the park, day or night, any month of the year, the fountain shoots its clean water into the sky, even when no one is watching.

Steven Grassel is a writer from Pittsburgh. His work has appeared in Wigleaf, Word Riot, and The Turnip Truck(s). He lives in Brooklyn.
Artwork by: Ruth McKee
Ruth McKee is a writer, singer-songwriter and budding photographer nominated for Hennessy New Irish Writer 2018. She works for Doire Press, contributes to Irish Times Books and edits spontaneity.org. She has started experimenting with 35mm film on an old 1970s Fujica.
Twitter: @RuthMcKee