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Baptism in the Mysterious Land


I gasp. Ice spiders climb my limbs.

Awake and actual, I bob in the wintry lake.

You’re looming over me astride a moon-glow horse.

“Hop on.”

You reach down and scoop me up.

The horse shoots off so quickly my head snaps back.

Green water fountains from the place

where his hooves strike the lake.

We’re rocking, but we’re not moving forward.

“Gum?” you ask. Without turning, you hand me a stick over your shoulder.

Spearmint-- refreshing like baptism.


I’m immersed in a warmish pond in a mossy forest.

“You’ve been away too long, Sister,” you say.

You cup water in your hands and pour it over my head.

It tastes like winter stones and spring leaves, earth and horizon,

peaty and mineral sweet. Plant tendrils

caress my feet and ankles. For a few nights,

the stars ring and sing shimmers, both

light and dark and something neither.

“Remember how we used to light candles and listen to the stereo?

That light and music, it’s here now. Press play.”

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