In the womb’s dark, you contemplate the sound of water.

The ear’s first lessons—runnel, rill, and spate, the sound of water.

Early facts on the ground were oil-slicked rainbow puddles.

Then snowmelt churned down alley ruts in a braid, the sound of water.

You ventured: freshet to creek, streamlet to run to river,

plink to trickle to gush. The world was made of the sound of water.

Now make more world. Sound out the flood of textbook jargon.

Inlet and fjord and bight and gulf and strait are the sounds of water.

Why startle out of this dream? Lie back. Dissolve in the crush of ocean—

Thálatta, great sweet mother. Are you afraid of the sound of water?