Rudolfo Carillo elaborates (delightfully) on the lack of water in the desert:
By the time we finally moved to Burque, I remember standing at the edge of the Rio Grande, staring.
When I asked my father about this utterly strange phenomenon, a river that flowed, he would say that the world was a watery place, that my confusion was contrary to the way of the earth. Water was a precious substance and magical too, he warned.
thanks for the h/t, Mr. Fleck!