These have been the days
I wished to break like a stick
across my own knees, to splinter the
joy that took me. Because it was not my own.
Listen, listen!
One time, there was rain that came after we prayed. We had learned thirst’s fervour swilling mouthfuls of sand. We danced a rain dance, and then the rainfall came. It fell back to the earth.
Another time, I fingered a heart from my own herd, a cattle globe whose valves leaked into my palm. In the lines of criss-crossed blood I read a mantra that drowned out the nethermothers’ tantrums.
To those who believe a flood is a spiritual thing,
preceded by tonguèd winds: Be ashamed.
It comes creeping up on you like
a snare . . . lightly, lightly
Loosening the soil’s death rattle. And then you are washed away
In the rain’s rush.
Listen. Listen.