Minerva challenged Arachne
weave for your life.
Competition with a god
fills the mouth with dry ragweed
leaf edge, raw nicks, and blood
tastes I know in the dismissible things.
Cut across the lawn, the Spirit nudges
willful adherence to safe concrete
cuts at my interior
forgetting the goodness of earth giving way
under rubber and rusty converse
and the blessings inherent in that smell of wet dust.
the grassy stretch unsaturated
patches of water and hard minerals compounding
Dirt holding itself apart, a droplet rests intact
You must be born of water and of the Spirit
a voice carries on the wind from a rooftop
to a woman
in the dry heat of the day
the shadows fall from the circle of stones
the mouth of the well waits for her
descend along the turning ramp down to the water
fill your clay pot—interior grown darker
ascend again from the earth
Give me a drink, the God-man said
to the hardened competitor of at least six seasons
vulnerability cracks clay crusts
love champions thirst
calls me to abandon broken cisterns
that I may stop short and confess:
I have nothing to draw with
the well deep
Sir, give me this living water.