a stumble in the fog,
a grasping at the mirage.
an empty box,
A blank paper,
from the podium,
with no microphone.
a list of words,
This poem is about thirst. It is about trying to describe what severe thirst is like by someone experiencing it.
The first stanza starts with emptiness. This is the feeling inside the mouth as the idea of thirst is attempted to be described. As the mouth is opened, there’s a sense of trying to find relief, but there isn’t any. This is described by the line swallowing air. The next line, a stumble in the fog, describes a sense of disorientation. As it continues, there’s again a sense of unfulfilled hope described as a grasp at the mirage.
The next stanza describes the search for relief. There’s movement and a search (a step), but relief isn’t found (an empty box). The search continues (another step), but there still isn’t relief (another).
The poem then acknowledges how difficult it is to describe what severe thirst is like. There are not words that describe it in an adequate way. This is described as A blank paper, being read, from the podium, with no microphone.
The last stanza comes back to the first. It acknowledges the emptiness, realizes that there are a list of words, like parched and dry, that can describe the feeling, but, as a way to describe it that is sufficient is looked for (searching inside) it isn’t found (but emptiness).