and I am in the first autumn Grandma said It is not the rites of spring but the dry months of summer which lead to the harvest Life a descent a searching and an ascent not to the gravity of vector forces Formulaic that was her dolls so there ain’t no mystery to why you want to read the question is will you want to read it again or are all the seeds planted out of the first the furnace of your afflictions do you say Yes you are right and by it I am wrong or do you assert from hearing another No you are right but I am not wrong do you deny the inevitable outcome of numbers to the trivialities of gossip to this day what I must do and tomorrow will wait with its things and the women of the Sabine this river and in ancient times must travail must stand between a willful deliberate choice and our Civil War and husbands will kill fathers and fathers will kill husbands this you cannot deny for brothers will go without their inheritance and blessing and I said I want to read Don’t put ideas into that boy’s head Bethany His voice Grandfather David For better it be a benevolent suicide than to say to these others You must die Remember Popovitch?

He’s just sayin’ what the Preacher said For He was made man that we might be made God Grandma intoning the sexual vibrato of a man of a 6th string and he cut her up into twelve pieces when he found her at his door The Battle of Gibeah Mama said The ancestors of that first king of Israel searching for virgins but there ain’t no women virgins because purity is purely a negative state and they were the smallest of the tribes and as these rites are called initiations so in very truth we have learned from them the beginnings of life and have gained the power not only to live happily but also to die with a better hope Would you kill who would not kill so you could have their daughters? an ear of corn in silence reaped a piece of political spin Grandma said intended to disguise atrocities by casting them further back in time and adding a more justifiable motive and what am I Mama said if not Demeter’s daughter? Dont play the harlot Grandfather said You weren’t abducted you were raped. I don’t understand and I cry and my lips tremble Hush now Solomon!

I hear the water again. The storm comes. Mama is wringing her hair like Spanish moss I watch the white drip from the black lather in the murky current an intensely passionate struggle but my eyes cannot look into her eyes your eyes and you You are the mothers of free men…