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Minnemingo Review

Something Brought                                                       Ian Carson

             One day we walked out in the rain, remember that?
             “Yeah, I remember.”
              It was raining so hard we thought it might never stop, but we didn’t

              care, did we?
              “No, we didn’t.”
              We had this feeling of being submerged, all the way up to our necks.
              “It wasn’t the water, was it?”
               No, I don’t think so.

            The sun fell hard the next day, took us by surprise. We took our clothes off and stood by the river. I looked in your eyes, and it was all there, so we didn’t talk. One of the great herons flew overhead as our uneasy steps guided us out to a place of our own. The great granite slabs. I lower myself into deeper water, and you follow. Muscles, tense from the rush of cold, loosen as the calm sets in. My fingers find yours underwater, and we just stand there. Your skin feels like glass beneath the slip of the river; the fragility of one who may be gone at any moment. But you stay. My toes work their way into the stony bottom, as our bodies sway to the pull of the current, my eyes lost to its gentle grasp.

                Where do you want to go?

                “Here’s fine.”

      But downstream, I am sure, there is some shade to rest under. Some woods to explore. Some field on which to plant our feet, great skies to collapse beneath. Cliffs from which to view this world, and all its movement. Something brought to settle scores, the ageless pull from the mountains and streams above; Rushing past, to give itself so desperately.

             The river falls from your shoulders.

             “Here’s fine.”

       And so I follow, reaching and straining and collapsing onto that sun-baked stone. Just above the surface we lie, as if lost to all mankind, the water sliding from our skin back to the great body from whence it came. But our fingers again meet, and all is sustained, without a sound but the breath to and from our lungs.
         The sun has made its fall beneath the bowing sycamores, taking with it the brightest of the day’s light, the warmth from our touch.
         My mind creates it, but my mouth decides it...
         Let’s go home.
         And I think, this may be the only place on earth where the sun truly sets.