The river

It's always there, you know: jackhammer sounds where the wild geese once were -- miles of flint orange sparks igniting the wind -- and as you row you discover the entire shoreline like that: phosphorus marbles lit in a blur, shimmers emerald as they swim -- and you go so far down the lake all of this disappears as a black bass slits the air, and the soft swish of your paddle joins a chant of some wild echoes that have not stopped for years -- and suddenly you enter into a cascade of swirling river water, and are moving so fast the trees are rowing the clouds -- whitecapped nests in the air -- and even as you go under you find bubbles are liquefied homes, houses that burst, and you fight for air, for relief from this current as you go over rocks, over dams, until finally you catch a branch and it breaks, and for hours you head for the sea, until not struggling anymore you float on your back, feet first downriver so you won't hit your head on rocks, and the river subdivides into a little outlet in the woods, and you wash up on some soft sand and hear, "chickadee-d ee-dee, chickadee-dee-dee."

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