At school they’re learning about precipitation.
Every snowflake and raindrop forms around
a speck of dirt in the air. Did I know that?
she asks walking up the hill. Did I know
when the snow melts, the dirt stays there? At night,
can’t sleep again. The reflection
in the bathroom mirror shows a pale cloud.
I drink and drink from the tap, unquenchably.
If we are ninety percent water,
and each of those drops contains a speck of dirt,
how much dirt does it take? How much dirt
begets dirt? How much water? How can
the rain, with its dirt tumbling to earth, be clean?
Nothing is as it seems: I before E
except after C. And everything we
know – dirt, water, bodies, Earth – starts with stars.