I drove out a couple hours west over the weekend and located the Mississippi River. It was right where I left it, several years ago. I shouldn’t leave it so long between visits but I keep forgetting I live so close to the Mississippi now. I grew up on the East Coast and out there the Mississippi seems more or less legendary, like Paul Bunyan, who coincidentally sprang up near its source.
I was happy to stand on a bluff above the Mississippi and watch it make its way legendarily through America, splitting the country from stem to stern like a powerful woman with an axe. It made me feel powerful by association, although that of course was an illusion. I was no more or less powerful than usual standing on that bluff. But it seemed more possible there, somehow, to feel like something with a source and a current. Cutting my way unapologetically through the earth. Heading for the sea.
back in the river we deepen it
of to the sea we tell the story
undertow to tell the truth