Owner of an emptiness

by Jan Bay-Petersen

I am smooth, delicate, enclosed.
A mere sigh would ruffle my composure

but I live deep, where no breath falls.
Darkness is nothing to me, moisture is all.

I am forced to gulp the falling bucket, but deflect
the blaze of blue, the hands, the cameo head.

Once a child fell in. Vainglorious on the rim,
terrified in his fall. I drank deep of him.

There is less of me than there was. Every day, the pail
takes longer to fall, and longer still to fill.

Last week a cat tied to a heavy stone
was dropped in by a woman who loathes

this place, the man who dragged her here.
I begin to stink, brilliantly.

The nights have been restless with the bleats
of children, their mothers, thirsty goats.

When I cease to be a well
all of them will cease to be.