Secret Water

perlarques, The Tunnel of Atlantis [Flickr, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0]

Marco V Morelli reads Maia’s “Secret Water” in response to the 11/6 [2018] Cosmos Café thread on “Developing a Sense of Agency with Invisible Words.”


Secret Water
for Michael, John, Marco, Doug

Millennia of snowfall and snowmelt
still flow underground through desert land—

Mojave, Black Rock, Painted, Petrified,
Sonoran, Chihuahuan, Great Basin —

unreachable deep in alluvial bedrock
under Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico…

sometimes I can hear water’s regional
dialects, faint burble of water-tongues

resembling birdsong or spirits…

Sometimes audible creeks rush up fretwork
of cottonwood and juniper, exhale

rainclouds breaking up, water-falling.

Sometimes we dance the water-dance
the whirl of infinitesimal seas—H and O

a hundred sextillion molecules do-si-do
millions of times every moment—

and in our own limbs, fossil waters—
so old they quenched the thirst of lizard-birds

and legged-serpents and dawn horses, alive
and dying before we were born— feel

how water moves mind over tree-skin
or pixels of color, how we speak

even when we are only water
again—and air and earth and fire.

—by Maia