A drop of water fell on my hand,
drawn from the Ganges and the Nile,
from hoarfrost ascended to heaven off a seal's whiskers,
from jugs broken in the cities of Ys and Tyre.
On my index finger
the Caspian Sea isn't landlocked,
and the Pacific is the Rudawa's meek tributary,
that same stream that floated as a little cloud over Paris
in the year seven hundred and sixty-four
on the seventh of May at three a.m.
There are not enough mouths to utter
all your fleeting names, O water.
I would have to name you in every tongue
pronouncing all the vowels at once
while also keeping silent–for the sake of the lake
that still goes unnamed
and doesn’t exist on this earth, just as the star
reflected in it is not in the sky.
Someone was drowning, someone dying was
calling out for you. Long ago and, yesterday.
You have saved houses from fire, you have carried off
houses and trees, forests and towns alike.
You’ve been in christening fonts and courtesan’s baths.
In coffin and kisses.
Gnawing stone, feeding rainbows,
In the sweat and the dew of the pyramids and lilacs.
How light the raindrop's contents are.
How gently the world touches me.
Whenever wherever whatever has happened
Is written down on the waters of Babel.
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