I bend to the ground to catch something whispered, urgent, drifting across the ditches. The heaviness of flies stuttering in orbit, dirt ripening, the sweat of eggs. There are small streams the width ofa thumb running in the villages of sheaves, whole eras of grain wakening on the stalks, a roof that breathes over my head. Behind me the tracks creaking like a harness, an abandoned bicycle that cries and cries, a bottle of common wine that won't pour. At such times I expect the earth to pronounce. I say, "I've been waiting so long." Up ahead a stand of eucalyptus guards the river, the river moving east, the heavy light sifts down driving the sparrows for cover, and the women bow as they slap the life out of sheets and pants and worn hands.