Bury us brothers here. Cover us up with the mud of this river. Let this muddy river run up and over us brothers, let it run its muddy waters up into the insides of our mouths. Let the fish of the river, let the mud too, nibble and gnaw us brothers down to bone. And the weeds of this river, those flowers growing up from the river’s rivery bed, let them wrestle and wrap us brothers up into their leafy arms: so that we might be held here, down at the river’s muddy edge, down here where there are stones for us to turn over, with our fingers and toes, stones for us to up from the mud pick up for us to throw: so they can float back up to that rivery hand, so they can rise up into that rivery sky—that nest of stars they fell out from back when they, the fishes of this river, back before they turned into birds, first learned how to fly.
Peter Markus is the author of the novel Bob, or Man on Boat, published by Dzanc Books, as well as The Singing Fish and Good, Brother, both published by Calamari Press. He has a new book of stories, We Make Mud, coming out from Dzanc in 2011.