• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 02
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The busy Missouri pushes slabs of bone,
degraded waste, fresh downed wood,
a burden of mud--and somehow the carcass
of a cow, a mule, a chunk of deer, river sturgeon,
and the body of a decapitated horse.
When the body of the boy floats by,
the fishing man lets out a yell, tries to reel it in--
no luck--the flood waters too dense, too thick,
and he calls 911 to report what he saw.
Could it be the missing body of the juvenile
who jumped from the police car--how?--
leapt over the railing of the upriver bridge,
and was not found? He didn't know.
Then he saw the head of the horse,
a great log grind itself into the sand
and a piece of driftwood swim onto the beach.
He dug the wood out, wiped down its skin
and saw the soul of something ordinary within it--
the shape of a life, the opening of eyes--
wrapped it carefully in muslin and tapestry
and there it is on display downtown
in the vast window of his sporting store for all to see.