Rivers and Roads

I am going back to the river
where my brother and I drowned,
having for once felt unthreatened on a raft under
the broiling July sun.
We fell asleep like mongrel dogs by the fireplace
and when we woke the current
was a fast plane taking us with it
no matter how hard we paddled,
falling yards and yards behind at a good clip,
and I remember thinking,
Yes, we are going to die,
out here on a rabid river that wants us dead,
and I thought,
Hooray!
Freedom at last.
But a motorboat found us a few feet before the falls,
tossed a rope and drove us to the shore,
our parents there,
drunk out of their gourds,
but not so stoned that they’d let go of their fury.
I wade into the water now wearing only those memories.
I go out further and further.
I close my eyes and wait for the current’s fingers
to accept me.

Len Kuntz is an writer from Washington State and the author of the story collection, The Dark Sunshine, from Connotation Press. Additionally, he’s an editor at the online lit zine Literary Orphans. You can find him at http://lenkuntz.blogspot.com.

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