My dear –
How can you not see
The parts of yourself you’re rushing
To fix and laboriously contain
Into wells, bathtubs, and buckets.
This is only the beginning
Where water glides over hands, arms,
And feet – the act of ritual cleansing.
One more time,
The ocean laps against the sand,
And then the tide recedes again.
Do you not see –
We’ll do this many times
Kneel when we’re tired of asking
Kneel when we’re frustrated with not being quite what we had hoped to be
But the sea, the ocean, and the rivers
Even when water around us depletes.
I ask you for tonight, tomorrow, and transcending periods of time
Whether I am able to become clean.
My fingers are raw from the washboard.
They are dry from my hands never leaving the water.
But I try
I try forcing the tears
Sunken in my sorrows, out.
My dear –
Don’t you see,
Prayer paddles in water,
And sometimes swims for miles in seas, oceans, and canals
– Yet we are here
Day by day
Looking for a place where our thirst is quenched by nothing more than a single invocation of His name.