At first, whatever drought carries the fiddlebacks
inside from the salt. The old women are speaking about jasmine.
An imagined June. Are telling you what they know
about the night. That the woman
who once held the sky’s hands against her dress whispered
drowning when the sun washed red across the river—
they say she fled from backwoods to bathe in a bowl of fire.
But in truth, she walked slowly with a shawl around her shoulders,
arms folded, her husband watching from a window in the house.