A young couple brings their baby
home to a mountain cabin
where a perennial spring flows
out of an iron pipe
driven into the bedrock.

An aquarium near their woodstove
lulls with water music, holds an axolotl,
a kind of salamander that retains
some larval traits for life. One week

and the baby widens his blue-grey eyes,
locks gazes with his mother as she sings
and nurses him. For this
is a house of wonders. Pink gills

feather the axolotl’s thick dark neck
and flutter in clear water. His species
is named for an Aztec god who guided
the sun through the underworld,

brought back the bones of the dead
from which new life in our world
was created. The axolotl’s job now:
to represent his species, almost gone

from the wild. And the baby, just
arrived from where his ancestors lie?
Mother and baby swim in each other’s eyes.
They are drawing the sun from its well

again. As the moon’s milky disc descends
the sun shows its face on the mountain.
The father takes his son from his sleeping
mother’s arms and the axolotl dances
on delicate feet across
his glass floor and the quiet
brims and burbles. Wordless

the water sings

a new world into being.