In the Beginning
The names we create for the people we build of sticks and mud and snow. The houses we fashion for them to live in. The weather they must survive. All of it slipping. The baby we implant in the dirt-womb of a stick woman. The fetus slipping. The huts we build on riverbeds, the mud pies we force into babies’ mouths. The tongue slipping. Lullabies in which we swaddle them, rocking boughs in the wind and the breaking. Breaking. We must build a shelter. Collect scrap and wood, blankets to save the bodies. Imagine trees, cut the limbs, rebuild the bridges. Trust the sun to hold us and not shine too keenly. To keep still as we gather buckets of water, the surface rippling with heat. We will feed it to the people. We will wash ourselves in light.