Water bends
to the moment’s will,
not time’s dominion;
but over and over
it keeps returning
to the places it knows.

While water striders
dimple a still pond
with their mating,
the stony bottom
constellates brightly
refracted desire,

soon forgets
this dance, everything
but the shapes to which
water has bent it:
stones are not marked
by these lives.

So, too,
water thunders
from the roots of trees
to the parched sky,
forming the branches
children dream in,

or from which
felons hung
in a lesser century,
remembering perhaps
a final drink,
wishing for another.

The sky opens
to take them in:
water, the living,
the sullen dead:
preserves their names
in a palimpsest of rain.

Copyright © 2021 Vasily Ingogly. All Rights Reserved.

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