WIPING HIM DRY
I run my hands over the rough, dry clay,/loving best those surfaces whose cracked /veins might lead divining rods to all/the parched suburbs of the heart.---From “Dowsing” by Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa, 07-21-11.
Almost like a puppy, I muttered. Something
about his rushing to be wrapped with the flannel
in my hands, his quivering wag, and what looked
like a pirouette to catch his tail, invites me to rub
his narrow back: I feel cold, abuelo, he shivers.
Would the man in Eden have protested coyly?
From the clay he was fashioned, I imagine
he would have undergone some gentle dousing
for the moulder to have pronounced: he is good.
From the rough, dry clay, he rose in splendour.
As did this wisp of a boy rising from the water,
hallooing: Look, abuelo, I can dive, I can swim!
He wiggled his salva vida floating to the edge,
his face toward the bright blue sky: I am good!
As all grandfathers before or after, I said: You are!
Oh, you are, my boy. And while I wipe you dry
after this dousing frolic, I run my hands over
your body, cleaning it of any tinge of dry clay,
loathe to think that if I were shaping you
from the mud East of Eden, I’d want you pure.
Unalloyed, a cherubic imp of a teaser, a laughter
tickled out of a dream, a pure delight, and clean.
---Albert B. Casuga