He leads me to the marsh with his hand in mine; a hand he says I should not hold.
“My hand is only to take me from the watchful pueblo.
Come. Undress me, Two-spirit, with the stars by the river.”
He gives me a drink that he cups with his hands; a drink he says I should not taste.
“The water is only to quench my searing thirst.
Come. Drench me, Two-spirit, with the rain by the river.”
He touches my lips that he found with his own; a kiss he says I should not linger.
“The kiss is only to stifle my smoldering fire.
Come. Douse me, Two-spirit, with the snow bed by the river.”
He blends his flesh and heat with mine; a communion he says I should not destine.
“My body holds captive a restless spirit.
Come. Release me, Two-spirit, with the windstorm by the river.”
He settles my head on his drum beat chest; a song he says I should not sing.
“My heart belongs to the High Elder’s flower.
Come. Abide me, Two-spirit, in the shadows by the river.”
He calls to me from his house of rooms; a home he aches to part.
“My wealth is burdened by nettled secrets.
Please! Welcome me, Two-spirit, to the river of old!”
I dry his face with my trembling hand; a hand both bare and aged.
“You offer me only the shelter of night; no blessings beyond the dawn.
Do you pine for the love of me, One-spirit; or want for only this river?”
He leads me through the nights with his hand in mine; a hand I wish I could hold.
His hand only steals him from his pueblo house...
and leaves me in the dawn by the river, alone.
I am asked by signs as I wander the homes of spirits to not touch the sacred water of Mó-ha-loh. The water is vital and faithfully serves the pueblo as it ripples over hard stones of the Red Willows and succors the marsh root, soothes the bare-boned desert's scorch, and bids the will of the Rio Grande in the canyon's deep swallow.
|Photo is the property of Randall S. Wireman|