Collective Unrest

 

The River’s Story

May 22, 2019

One step more, the river floor

constituted of pebbles below me,

slips between my toes. They are

tortoiseshell, black, slick with fur and the few

ivory stones pocked with beige blemishes.

 

The canopy a spectrum of greens shielded us from sun and spectators. We spread out a blanket, drank coffee, and what? Did we discuss music? Did we laugh? Did we dream up a future past those valley clouds? We smiled. You took photos. I thought of poems and bookshelves. I listened to the opera the river performed and freckles emerged of my skin to see if this was all real life. At the riverside, the sun radiated to summon the freckles, to fracture on river rocks, to warm my feet, my calves as the wavelets chattered to them.

 

One step more, the river floor

constituted of pebbles below me,

slips between my toes. They are

tortoiseshell, black, slick with fur and the few

ivory stones pocked with beige blemishes.

 

You hoped those slippery pebbles would do what you wanted to. Stapled to shore, your arms extended not to receive but to reject–I suddenly found myself in my funeral dress, didn’t I? If I was going to die, at least it was where I was brought joy. I twirled on those glassy rocks, considering my nearing end, let the river froth foam about my thighs like something rabid. In the end, that wasn’t your moment; you’d need a few more weeks before you forced me under by your hand. You stared as I pulled the hem above my knees while the water rose, and you took what became a winning photograph of my dancing feet. The same feet you pictured lifeless the same feet that didn’t know how to swim the same feet that could kick could flail enough to reach safety enough to run to fall to bleed to watch shivering from the sideline but aware that something was very wrong and something would need to be fled and said.

 

M. Eileen writes and breathes near water. Her poetry and prose has been featured in publications both local and international ranging from Hanging Loose to Rogue Agent, S/tick to Monkeybicycle. She can be located at @m_e_g_writes.

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