Going back to the river

When I think of the river I follow the water down. From either shore you can’t ever tell how much the river weaves like words, how much it needs to be read. It’s like seeing silk from a different angle, from a microscope – all the threads suddenly pulsing in front of you with you upon it.

Lee said to face your strongest point to danger – to always face the danger. I watched her twist and turn us like a teacup. We found the ‘V’ in the muddy water – a naked, headless, armless woman distraught from the storms, the fill of the world flowing into her. Even if she wanted to stop it, she wasn’t able to. The sky fell down, bringing the snapped boughs, empty soda cans, carcases  unburied by the juniper trees. It brought the lightning, the winds in waves. It was a constant battle with the winds.

I took control for only a few hours of only a few days. I watched Lee most of the time and I watched the pockets of rocks, the imperfect skin of the west – red, worn, layered upon layered.

The train whistled by a few times every day. The Amtrak and we’d wave high. We were ghosts to them like the old mining cabin along the bank – fire place still staked high, old shoes, blue glass bottles fading like the morning to day.

What I miss most is the lullaby. Swish clink. swish clink. swish clink. Staring into the water from the raft, the reflection from above was nothing but color. Nothing was clear, not the outline of trees or clouds. It was the water’s own vision. Her perception of everything. And as much as we tried to reach her, to go beneath her, to understand her, she always kept herself quiet, roaring loud only to show us she was still in control of where she let us land, or tip, or stick our toes in light and fast, or fall.

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