I have need of thee
fulfil all righteousness
my beloved

I bought two tickets
a bus brought us to this sacred site
our tour guide apologized repeatedly
dust winds from a dried-up river bed

I was freed from original sin years ago
the water was still green
my son lifted the rope, grabbed a handful
joyfully sprinkling it
river sand fused with worn out catechumens oil

a dove descended
looking for water


In the summer of 2016, I visited ‘Bethany beyond the Jordan’ known in Arabic as al-Maghtas. This is the site where, according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus was baptized by John. This poem explores the impact of prolonged droughts on the Jordan River basin and this sacred site.