Where It Came From
The dowser holds the willow switch and it dips,
it dips, it points the way back
to the hidden mother; the water; the source.
And if he held a parking ticket? Wouldn’t
that lead him into a hive of accumulating money
as surely as any bee heads home?
One time I held a woman’s velveteen shoe
and my hand began to dance, and then
my chest, my hips, all the way down the bones.
If his hands cupped milk, would it lead him
to the breast? If his hands held coal,
would it lead him into the darkness, to fire?
In the myth, when Mary holds the infant
Jesus, she can already feel the cross inside him,
and everything pointing in that direction.
Even in its death, if you lift a salmon
gently, allowing it freedom, you feel the need
to turn back toward its spawning like a compass needle.
The bullet doesn’t want the enemy’s flesh.
It wants to use that flesh, so it can lay back down
in the earth, where it came from.
Hold another person’s body. Hold it
until you can feel the atoms look up
to the stars — their parents.