The River

I thought I could live in the river; I thought I could survive on the tiny bits of algae it fed me from time to time, that I could tame it and morph its path and power toward a destination beneficial to myself. I thought I was the only one who could truly understand the values of the treasures held within its polished stones, the passion shown in the raging rapids that broke down any else who came near, and the beauty of the setting sun resting over the smooth surface. In a complex way, faulted and unstable, I thought it was mine. Though I was not comfortable, I thought that I could adapt myself to the climate- that I could sprout gills and breathe beneath the water, or cool my blood so that the frigged waves would not distress me. I thought, if I did as much, the river would understand how much I loved it and it would love me in return- giving itself to me in every way it could so that I would truly own it’s treasures, it’s passions, and it’s beauty.

Now, I lay shivering in hugs that never warmed me, naked and alone in a lake of growing seclusion, and fully aware that I was not meant to live here. I thought it would bring me to life in the same way it did while I watched it from the shore, but I feel only death tugging my heart down toward the silt. What will my life be if I move back to the land? More plentiful, now that I can release this dream? Or more empty without the beauty of the river in the palm of my hand?

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