The Same River Once


I will tell you that Jonathan holds very very still and a mouse crawls into his pocket.
Jonathan too has crawled into a pocket, a larger one, but this one he invented, and until he
invents a more lively body to wear its baggy coat, he’s going nowhere.
Jonathan’s Grandfather Petrov thought it was a game and held very still, almost as
still as Jonathan. Then he thought, “There is no such thing as death, but the fear of it, the
fear of it is real.”
Jonathan didn’t move. Jonathan was winning.
So the old man went to the mousey river and said to it, “Which of you has done
this?” He hadn’t noticed the daughter of a wasp, sitting on the bank, mourning the loss of
her wings, and he hadn’t noticed how much of the impatient world was moving past him.
But Jonathan became like unto an idea of himself held together with smoke and
steam. Jonathan grew more intense. Jonathan was offering habitation to a concept larger
than himself.
Then Petrov wanted to enter the world the wasp lived in. Petrov wanted to enter the
wasp. But Petrov was afraid of rejection. He had become beggared by a penchant for
malleable inconsequentials.
And so the old man touched the opening lightly with his foot to see if it was real.
Which mimicked the actions of the mouse in Jonathan’s pocket although neither of them
knew it and Jonathan continued dreaming.
Several daughters began flying across the river. The daughters dropped their wings
on the other side and went looking for the sons. They wanted to lay their eggs in them.
They wanted to wait patiently.
Do you want to ask the river some questions?
Hold very very still.
Then hold still longer than you can hold still.

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.