Dianne Bilyak

To Absolve without Sinking

Do not dip into
the hollowed basin
with a ladle and drink,
or wag the tongue
like a dog and lap.
Do not look for fish
or carry it long distances
to extinguish lesser fires.

It’s only deep enough
to wallow not to tread.

Like recent bachelors,
the leaves fall
from wounded branches.
Gather a few and place them
on the surface of the water.
Watch them move in circles
as you rest the palm of your hand
between the blades on his back.