we're told you're already among us and no longer on your way. The radio woke us up this morning with news of another rising wave of contagion, a winter of pestilence and affliction— your dark attendants, your retinue and signature. But tonight, around a fire in a neighbor's backyard, we are invited by a shaman to make of our bodies a field shook with lightning; to clear a space for the ancestors to enter with their gifts of remembrance and healing. What we pass from hand to hand around the circle: not just flower or stone, not twig with its tip of glowing ember. Loosen the heart, and the tongue might follow. Loosen the fist and the hand, and the towering pines lean a little more away from our small houses on the ground. A few blocks away, the river continues: a scroll bearing messages from the future and from the past.