River Says

I don’t feel you. I am
not lonely.

I am wet.

I gush.

I drift, slip, float, flood.

I percolate. I penetrate.

I swell—
But not with pride.

I sip, lap, suck.

I will swallow you.

I do
take lives.

I don’t mean anything by it. And I don’t obsess.

I inundate. I drain.

Deluge.
Course through anything, disperse everything.

I go in, I go out.
Mud wavering, glistening.
White, blue, gray surfaces, shining.

Over, under black

green

depths.

I have no curiosity. No scruples.
I don’t give a rip.

You envy me my unselfconsciousness!
You use me for your transformations. Revelations.

I make sound not to thrill you or to calm you.

I don’t see you.

Imagine that.

And I don’t feel sorry. I don’t feel.

I have no torments to unravel.

And heaven knows I am
not female!

I rise, reach, fall.

Not ravening, not insatiable. No greed.
No hunger at all.

I carry, pool, swim.

Meander. Seep.

I

give

all

I

am

to

give.

I do destroy, but not with a vengeance.

God said build a boat.
God said he would flood the wicked world. I had nothing to do with it.

You call me menace, you call me peace. My god,
your ego!

You don’t have a clue.

If I laughed, I would be laughing.

I have seen so much shit. So many tires.
Couches!

You

make

me

sick.

I torrent and I scour!
I wrap your sopping mattresses around cottonwood trees.

I soak. I sodden. I silt.

I don’t know death, fear death.
I know pale green swollen bodies.
I know rocks in pockets.
Leeches.
I know fish, alive, alive, oh and belly up.

If I loved
I would be loving
my otter sliding and plunging.

Deer dipping, spooning, little pink tonguing. Secreting salamanders. Waterbugs.

And ancient great blue heron! Patient.
Stalking still.
Striking.

Meg Ojala
July 2019