Washed In The River

By Beckian Fritz Goldberg

Of course the woman with the mouse–child was famous,

as grace is famous

a rarity

at the end of suffering. She kept him in

a nest in the dry bathtub

and washed in the river.

And though only children were meant

to believe this, I still believe this.

The fate of the body

is to confound

itself with everything. That’s why

in another tale, the fair sister

opened her mouth and spoke


and the plain sister, vipers and toads.

Meanwhile the mother

of the gray thing

bathed him in a teacup.

Plucked him out and let him

run along the shore

to the window. Where both of them

were struck with longing—

he behind the great glass,

she behind the gray boy.

The second you see yourself in the suffering

the story’s over.

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