Thursday, March 18, 2010

River in the Skin

Veins - 456

Lindsey Thompson

Many of my brothers wish to be like you. They envy you, with your feet and your opposable thumbs, your lungs and your laughter. They want your world, to feel the earth and to climb to the sky, to know the tingle of touch not mediated by our surroundings, to feel a sense of gravity greater than the false pressures of our river world. They tire of being bound within water, of being stuck in streamline circles. But I am grateful; I know better.

You think that you know our home. With two clumsy splashes and some flailing, you slip and slide and call it swimming in the river. You stir up the canvas of our ancestors like exhaust fumes on your streets and in your air. You puff out your heads full of your breathing and fumble around under the water until your tiny supply runs out. You hardly look out for us, and God forbid we run into you, even though we live here. You are like a virus in our blood, for we are powerless to move you, while you rampantly take of our families.

But what you miss in your gracelessness and your discourtesy, I will attempt to reveal to you. Just as my brothers wish to run, you, too, somewhere buried deep within your superior skin and complex thought, you wish for this, heavenly and simple.

The sun reflects gently off the rustling of my sky, my roof to the world. The tickling of the body of currents, a life of its own. The warm pockets for resting and the cool pockets for awakening. The sound a tail makes as it runs just past your head. The rhythm of families in motion. This is my soundtrack. This is my symphony.

I don’t drink in the sky, I absorb it. The water that surrounds me cradles me, moves me, becomes part of me and gives me life. This river, so full of spring, begins a beat in my brain that I cannot ignore. With each passing slipstream that teases my fins, I smile to myself and dart forward, racing the undertow.

And suddenly, I am soaring, I am gliding, I am flying through streams and lakes and waters with no name into one another, like the veins of the skin of the earth, flowing and pumping life into every corner of her beautiful body. I twist through capillaries and tributaries and into the lake, the artery. Over rapids and through swift currents, I swim just to have the waves caress my scales and pull my tail with the resistance of the wake I leave, battling for equilibrium and an undisturbed existence.

You can only stare at your sky; I live in mine.

Weird Fishes / Arpeggi (Radiohead Cover) - Vitamin String Quartet


  1. I really like this. I am not just saying :p

  2. This is my favorite of your year-in-prose things. It is fantastic. <3