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River runs another river bigger to

great floods: 1902, ’35, ’68

and here, on camera


a reporter floats his jon boat down

some Main Street

equal as a soothsayer to—


give it a few hours—

top edge of

drug store! Pizza joint! A window display

flush with fancy shoes! I mean


it keeps raining. He’s already

huge with those two oars, gone

strange looking down the swirling

brown depth to pavement below, giddy


the up-all-night-flashlight-

in-the-teeth of it, the damp microphone of it.


River rats too, at the bank, in weeds

but wow, can they swim—imagine—bobbing

shiny near some water-logged piano.

Then he remembers this life:


I’m afloat in the town-middle of nowhere enough.


Weeks and weeks before such a river

rethinks the business of

going south properly, hundreds, those

thousands of miles to the sea.

The sea. Just the sound of that thrills

the land-locked at

heart, by blood, all the way to the start


of the world—

And back: what a fish

told one of us. Astonishing

terrible things.

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