Competitor

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

with clarity

ascend again from the earth

Baptism

  

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.

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