I want my body to be a river.
I fear it is a swamp.
I want to surge and sing and shiver,
and not to be damp.
Cleo in her Egyptian barge
flashes fire and ice.
Anthony, general and large,
doesn't step in the same river twice.
But a swamp in the tropics! How it sticks
to the conqueror's leather boots,
and croaks, "Be sympathetic!"
while the owl hoots.
This water streams between the banks
of a subterranean track.
It cannot carry pulp or foam
nor shrug them off its back.
I've waded in the muddy Nile
and walked with Eliot's Thames,
dreamt by carp-bellied Singapore,
delivering gurgling names.
Sure, this foul trickle does not grow
from glaciers or from glades,
but from the fractured concrete cast
still it descends from the same sky
as the Ganges and the Styx,
elementary the water
a rat, fat with babies, sips.
I know I'm made of water.
Of water made I am,
one third mucus, three quarters
I knew I'm made of water.
Today I've proven it.
Two thirds vomit, one quarter
I've always known I'm made of water,
gulping down the flood,
three thirds semen and four quarters