You have been aching a long time,
a lifetime, an endless sonorous afternoon
in a city of bells.
All that calling of the faithful to faith
has left you empty and longing for fill.
For fear of your wanting,
you spill down into the reeds
of a river you hold inside
and hide there — pull
the old movie trick, breathing
through the slender stem.
So long under the water,
breathing in near-panic
and praying no one will see you
and drag you away.
Late in the day after all the bells
are silent, you come soaked
into town. No one will look
at you — at least, not at your eyes;
they stare plenty at the trail behind you, though,
the drabble of leaves, the wet stains
on the road. Strange: you’re still dripping
after two miles walk from the river.
You realize you’re a sponge
and at last you are not just full
but overfull and all it took to get there
was nearly drowning and
abandoning your home.