Last week the river was a winding road paved in
brilliant white where any fool could walk. Now
the corridor flows black and waxy, only for a god to
tread. Ivory ice cakes bob in the current, lining up
at the dam like suicides. They congregate, bump
and hesitate until sliding into the watery veil and
breaking apart in the curling turbulence.
The planet’s rigid skin is softening. Water runs
everywhere. It oozes from the ground, pours from
intermittent streams and seeps through culverts. It
rips from trees and slides off rooftops leaving every
gutter a watercourse. Trickling liquid chants spring
as loudly as redwings.
It takes a lot to melt the private ice of a long season.
The electric synapses speeding up and down the
spine might stay sluggishly locked in their own
interior arctic without the moving river and mushy
soil. The mind bends hard to the season like peepers
thawed from the muck, as natural as skunk cabbage,
mosquitoes, or budding maples basking in the sun’s