If you’ve seen a prayer spoken, you know something of what I mean. The purpose of the prayer list, read by the priest aloud, prior to a silence, is to hold names’ wetted wafers in the mouth. A person creaks like small gravel—you told me that. You told me trees make speech sounds, growing. You’re not one person, but it’s clear you’re far away from the plot I’ve made. Hard ground. Every cold recalls first cold, as in my Virginia’s first winter, a wind half-silvered, sharp as a mirror we’re given back through but through which we can’t see. Same as now. If you’ve seen a handmade nail, you can’t help but draw the modern ones backward, the way the art of dark caves portends our paintings—an abiding absorption in effigies, marks, and asking that something happen, and in the way we want. Sometimes in Appalachia a German custom kept: sink a nail in a tree at the height of a child, to cure it. This presumes the child has time to grow past what’s driven. Presumes incantation and walking eastward. Certain conditions must be met, that other events may follow. The list will keep growing in the quiet, as little the names you might mean to add. The mirror might show a fix and distance you didn’t intend. Land slips. Its red color. You take the child from the home before day. Before the charm, neither may speak a word.