my mother, a child, walks to the spring

and rubs her body with wet grasses.

she is taught, she learns

a scrubbing of detritus realm

from our barrier of selves.


the bending of wills and heads

has not yet led to pesticidal lathering.

my grandfather has not yet installed

the house’s waterways, aqua as bended will

and not will to enter, to bathe in no more than.


these waters from which direction

erupts, the cause for no such

words as north south east west

used in our village before—

there is only upstream, downstream.


this couplet all the world needs to know

of divining place and ways within it:

where to wash in a known rush of sluice,

what part of the earth to bring

to skins. how to gentle a renewal,


how to be smallness and cold, to begin.