Where the holy river ebbs enough to drive on it,
priests dip a mason jar to fill for temple guardians
whose thirst is renown.
Crouching low this morning with a half-full jug,
I almost catch a whirring wooden raft.
The skipper is busy mounting his girlfriend—
a green mantis resting on two of her elbows, not praying
but bumping down the rapids on a chunk of albesia bark
hurtling toward the deadly falls at Strong Knees.
Inside a parked minivan a child films me
as I shake my head at the river, shocked.
"What kind of a man mates on a slippery oarless raft?
What kind of a woman can’t sense the downfall in ecstasis?"
I ponder this, then rise up on my own bare toes,
not two feet from the mirroring surface.
Smug as a pope.