The arch in the bridge. The moment of architecture. The island where you lost your mother's keys. The photo she sent of someone who looks like her walking to the point where the land becomes reminiscent of dissolving of flesh. The trees stamped onto our minds like traumas are supposed to be. The frightening blanks where the stores were. The sense the owners died. How many people killed by logs, do you think, over the years? The moon sitting greedily on your house. The carrying of one another when young, light, and poisoned. The doorsteps we were left on. The fox scat. The extra points in school. Who knew how prominently quarries featured? Only once or twice in a lifetime does one find the suicide or hear the primordial screaming. The towns nearby that survive on museums of their earlier burning. The dreams set in neighbor's houses. The mounds with hooves and bones sticking out. The gentle sloping. We will always be swimmers digging into the thaw. The former newness. The various cuts of meat. The places cats won't go. The climbing out onto the banks. The naked man working harmlessly in the woods. Like a milkweed or fox you are something that parted the dirt here. The rotting that sets in when you leave.
Catie Rosemurgy, "Gold River" from The Stranger Manual. Copyright © 2010 by Catie Rosemurgy. Used by permission of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota. www.graywolfpress.org