A fissure of pain zigzagged
Through layers of bone.
Pain pressed on my temples
Like a tightening vise.

I was like a desert,
parched and stony,
perishing of thirst.

I stood at the kitchen counter,
drinking filtered water.
Swallow after swallow
slid down my throat.

Like soil so dry
it repels the rain,
I absorbed it gradually,
reluctantly, gratefully,

glass after glass
of cold, clear water,
tasting of wet.

I drank until I felt
my capillaries swell
and my body fill up
from bottom to top.

I drank until I was
right up to the base
of my skull,

only my head and neck
still hard and dry,
like a yellow stalk
left standing in the field.

I drank until
I was soaked in water,
sick with water,
drunk on water.

At last the bands around my brain
began to loosen,
my head sank back,
and my mind released.

I could feel it ease and fill.
All night long
the swellings passed in waves
and washed out of me.

It was like lying in the sea
and letting its cold,
life-giving waters
seep through my skull.

Deep within my head,
the first element,
nourishing my thought
to grow from itself
like a living thing.

To be drunk on water
is a glorious thing.
Think of alcohol,
its opposite,
that poison that delivers
its glories first
and sufferings afterwards.


For you, reader,
I pass you a slip from this thought.
May you raise your own vines from it!