43 Incidences of the Word "Water" in My Novel

As I work on edits to my book I've had to do a find-and-replace for the word "water" several times. Going through the left-hand panel on Microsoft Word I found that the incidences made their own sort of poetry.

An incomplete list:

  1. The uneven basement floor was flooded with puddles of stagnant water that seemed to be generating clouds of mosquitos.
  2. What I mean is have you heard the seagulls call at the water’s edge in a gray rain?
  3. Nude, I filled a pot of water and put it on the stove.
  4. I picked up the pot with two potholders and lugged it back into the studio, careful not to spill any boiling water on my naked skin.
  5. The water level rose.
  6. Hot water sloshed onto the floor.
  7. I hopped back from the scalding water, perspiring heavily.
  8. I held my dad’s old meat thermometer in the sink, took the temperature of the water, and waited.
  9. The rice and water came slowly to a boil, and I filled a short glass with ice and a shot of the cheap Polish vodka I kept in the freezer.
  10. My eyes watered as I tried not to cough.
  11. Water and snapdragons spilled all over the concrete floor.
  12. I washed my hands and splashed water on my face without thinking to take off my glasses. 
  13. A catalog from B&H, a water bill, a reminder from my optometrist’s office that it was time to get my eyes checked.
  14. When I turned around I saw she’d already wandered in, and was browsing the art books lined up on the raw two-by-four shelves I’d bolted into the walls, noting the pot in the sink, encrusted with burnt rice and full of cold soapy water.
  15. I could make coffee. Wait, no. I’m out of beans. Water, then.
  16. Water or vodka. Or tea.
  17. The penthouse was skylit and wood-paneled, and totally incongruous with the tar-topped skyscape of broken windows and water towers that surrounded it.
  18. Can I get you two anything? A beer? Soda water?
  19. Got down on my knees and cleaned deep in the cracks between the poured concrete floor, scrubbing with soapy water until they were mud.
  20. She said, My rent is five hundred. What? I said, laughing. Do you get, like, heat and hot water that the rest of us don’t have? She raised her eyebrows. My smile faded. That son of a bitch, I said.
  21. I went back in, leaving the front door open, and washed my face, brushed my teeth, and splashed some water in my hair.
  22. I’d look out at the glowing city as a ferry went by, its lit windows casting unsteady light on the water’s surface.
  23. The kitchen was clotted with dishes and pots and pans and glasses, the dining table with ten or twelve empty bottles and plates that held the remains of pie and empty ice cream cartons and scattered utensils and more glasses half-full of water or stained with wine.
  24. The water was frigid so I let it run.
  25. The water ran ten minutes and never got any warmer.
  26. She came back out with two glasses of water and set them on the table. I’m sorry, she said, that’s just not good enough.
  27. The Pontiac's axels whined and water sloshed in the tires as I eased it through the wide and shallow lake of saltwater between the reeds.
  28. In the rearview mirror, a stretch of wetlands reached out toward a horizon black and jagged with trees, the water afire with sunset sky.
  29. A cloud passed and clean white sun flooded the sand, refracted off the water.
  30. As the pharmacist went to work on her prescription she browsed the aisles, picking up and putting down water wings and sunglasses, vitamins and douches, with fidgety disinterest. 
  31. I flipped through the pages. Glossy color photos of young green forests and beaches at sunset. Waterfalls that had been photographed on a long exposure so that their cascades looked soft and blurred as mist. I said, I hope this didn’t cost you anything.
  32. But my mother. Jesus, my mother. Waterworks the whole fucking time. 
  33. I vomited until I had nothing left. My throat stung, my eyes watered, my hands trembled.
  34. He began talking very quickly: I was minding my own damn business—listening to a little music, heating up a little water to wash up—when I hear this fucking banging on the door.
  35. In the dark basement they stepped into a lake of inch-high, half-frozen, stagnant water and a thick layer of stinking smoke. 
  36. The day we had no more hot water, no more heat, that was bad. The day I found roaches in the kitchen, rats under the bed? That was worse.
  37. The East River is not actually a river at all, but a saltwater tidal strait, all quick dark current glistening under bridges and out to sea.
  38. In our little castle on a hill we are beholden to several simple guidelines: we must feed the children, of course, and keep them warm in the winter, and provide running water so that they may wash their grubby hands.
  39. I got as close as I could to the water and looked up and out, skin prickling. 
  40. I kept turning to go, then stopping myself—no, not yet—and turning back toward the water. 
  41. The waterfront property he wants to convert to luxury condos is, unfortunately, infested with tenants and other animals.
  42. I walked home in a daze, through the lush tree-lined streets of the Heights, down the hill, toward the water.
  43. They were all drawings and paintings on paper. Many had been done in simple charcoal, but some had been done in tender watercolor, or had wrestled with streaks or splashes of gouache.