she sits cross-legged on the edge, watching fog rise up and dance on top of the river. steam from her cup twirls in the clouds she exhales. trees are bare but sun will burn through the branches. it’ll cook the cold morning. she knows that underneath the flickering waves, catfish burrow deep into still-warm mud. she’ll call big john, with his chains as thick as a man’s arm.
he’ll pull up the boat dock before the rains come.
it’s the morning after a torrential night, and the first thing she sees is the shoe. she’s so distracted by incongruity that she trips over the guy sleeping in the doorway. she forgets that they drown in water. she forgets that you have to weave — that you have step around them like worms on a sidewalk. he grins, “hey, baby.”
she walks out into a spitting rain.
she wades through the cold water slapping the piles. she touches wet barnacled wood, searches the tunnel to the sea thinking she might see an end. her feet sink deeper into sand. gulls swoop in small, mean circles. she steps on a dead fish — its carcass shreds between her toes like a cheating lover. the smell of ozone drips in the salty air.
she waits for thunder.