How She Comes to Understand Her Baptism

by Maya Jewell Zeller


In the beginning was the rain.
It was all gray sky. It was all driftwood
and current, chainsaw and chickens. The rain
washed the land for us, washed the road, gravel, sandy
path our feet walked to the beach where water met
water like two people who eventually can’t tell
each other from themselves. The water
was full of fish, and the sky said
eat, this is my cloud descended for you
through the fog of this mountain, Neahkahnie
overlooking the crescent strip of land
and ocean, Nehalem Bay. Neahkahnie
like a great fish rising
from the rocks. The fish grew larger
in our bellies until we were full. The light
grew whiter in our hands when we touched
the water, when we touched
the beach. Each speck of sand was a word.
Each wave foamed at the shore’s thigh.
There was smoke from the wood being cut
for the stove. There was the taste of blackberries
on our tongues, rain-fat and sweet.
We lifted our clothes, let the rain soak through.