Throughout the lowlands singers sing
of your deep, feminine soul;
How reclining, you roll down your bed
amidst your veils and embankments;
They marvel at your fluent, accommodating ways,
how you slip through the world,
flowing around every obstacle,
rounding every edge, and
polishing every turn.
You compel us, it is true, down to where you lie.
Your eyes are limpid pools—it is true what they say,
and it is rumored far and wide that you mirror
But the footing is treacherous around you. Your tender loam
gives way beneath our fingers and toes,
but your glistening bones are more hazard still.
It is true what men say, but I know you better yet.
I know you,
The bones of old trees and bush
lie tangled in your arms.
I see your work.
Yesterday you might have been
merely a pool, and another, and another;
hung upon a sparkling, trickling necklace
virtually breathless and still
womb of a myriad, humming
colonizing your thickening blood.
The next day, you might be only lichen and bone.
Dry, white, crumbling bone, anchored deep within the earth—
or deeper still.
You gallop across mountains and vandalize
the sleepy canyons, tearing away the flesh and
leaving more bone drying in the sun,
your locomotive snarl,
your hissing, boulder-cracking roar!
Undulating waves, rolling and smacking,
sucking in air, mist storms exhaling!
Water the tyrant.
Water the destroyer—butcher, leveler,
Fury: skull-smashing and bone-snapping—sinew twisting;
Too murderously quick for suffocation; utterly
Beautiful kiss me.