This bowl in the hills, this valley—  
       Would you descend the rocks after me?
The river's gone, but its name remains.
       The gurgle from its throat has found 
a bronzer vein in which to hide. A bird 
       with a wingspan long as history 
drops its load of footnotes on our heads. 
       Still prospecting, I scrape shallow 
pans along the gravelly bed. In high
       summer, the veiled cries of cicadas
among the trees; in winter, smoke heavy
       as pelt from lit fires. In the ashes, 
one might find an amulet compounded
       out of water and its absences.    

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