Preserved Forest Water by Ronnie Pips

I sit in the river. Not in the middle but in the river no less.

I sit in the river because it is safe and the ambient noise of the water rushing past my head is
soothing. Birds sing in trees but I’m unable to see them as my head is beneath the current. My
legs are crossed as they were years ago when stories were read to children by someone older
than I was; am.

I sit in the river not believing it is a river. ‘It’s too personal to be a river,’ I think and breathe
and the sun rises and falls and rises again. It might fall again, I hope it does, I prefer the moon
personally. The crevices, spots, freckles, and constant updating of phases remind me of faces.
Different ones.

The river is not warm until something happens making the river water warm for a few minutes
then it returns to bordering on tepid and comfortable. The river thinks ‘I’m not better than you,
don’t you know’ and I believe it. It hasn’t any need to lie. Understandings are found.

A fish approximately the size of both of my fists if they were in the position of somebody
showing off four lettered rings on each hand spelling out a phrase that is important in the
moment or a moment nostalgic. The fish’s identity is a mystery as I rubbed my eyes too hard
and my knowledge of fish is not a working one.

I sit in the river and count the rocks that roll over the hair on the skin of my arms. I reach a
number that ‘seems about right’ and stop counting abruptly. I whisper the number sweetly to the
river without expecting a response because understandings were found and accepted.

I sit in the river and wonder what the river was like before we starting hanging out together. My
mind goes to a party where the river is chatting up a pretty thing that looks that way without
makeup. The river is in a clearing talking around a fire about other times it was talking around
a fire. The river believed in the ‘presence of ‘god,’ but not an actual being capable of judging
everything ever all at once’ then decided to believe in people for better or worse. The river was
born to a caring family of three.

I sit in the river and hug the river and breathe.

Profile: Ronnie Pips

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