Omphale, world-navel, river’s child, she is sad, sorrowful past bearing, so she returns to her father’s home, wide sandy banks, and lets herself sink down to his depths. The water is clear and the rocks are smooth and her hair goes green as the weeds when her father finds it.

Her dead husband comes to her, side torn open and red from the bull’s passing. “Come home,” he tells her, “this is only a temporary solution.” He cannot cross running water.

A Heracles in women’s trousers comes to her and abases himself. “Come home,” he pleads, “the horses have fallen still, the hawks have come to earth. Come home again.” He passes on.

Dionysus, wine-logged, sea-foamed, slides into the river next to her and runs his fingers through her hair. “Stay,” he says, “or go. A river is a moving place.” He cannot suffer water long, and soon departs.

Her horses come to her in their thousands, black horses and red, piebald and gelded, and crowd her father up past his banks. She rides them down to the sea, to the great band of Ocean whence all horses come, drinks seawater straight from the rock.

She comes to herself, nameless, asking nothing. But still she persists.