All these Texas boys

and Austin,
somewhere by the border

I’m thinking of the Rio,
set back
in a night, a hot spring.
Rough limestone, chert
the water hasn’t moved here
and I can’t see my hands
can’t see my body
the echoes of strangers touching me.
And the river to my back
the rush –
In my favorite book a boy drowns
his body, the flayed skin of St. Bartholomew

With all this water
I didn’t mean to write about the flood
but I’ve drowned so many boys there
wrapped in sheets and


I pushed down their heads
sunk bubbled baptised

I’ve been creek,
not quarry
What shape does a river choose
when no longer contained?
How long has it wondered?

They’ve run out of sand
but not bags
no more earth in Texas
have to dive for the rocks