The Meander

The washerwoman turns to me and asks,
“Did you hear about Damalis?”
Our hands dip into the cool river waters,
Cold linen draped along our slipping skin.
“She and the lady of the court,
They ran off together.”
She whispers it to me,
Like what they did
Will grasp us from the river bottom
And hold us under
Until we can’t breathe anything else
But water.
“She should have been watched better;
Idle hands do evil things.”
She draws her hand back from the river,
Wiping it on her wool dress,
I stick my whole hand in,
Wanting a nibble
Like Damalis
And Nausikaä.

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