Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts

Going to the River

by Jean-Mark Sens


You went to the river to talk to the river
and the river’s wind breathed to your lips
as one among many of its promeneurs, barges, tugs,
ferries slanting waters with their low horns.
A river is a form of prayer
at its beginning and at its end, confluents, tributes of its tributaries,
the molecules of its tribal alluvium and colluvium.
The saxifrage, saxophone and sexy phrase,
and happenstance that play above its mouth,
scuffing waves along wharfs, scull boats, panhandlers
and circus tricksters, its plying industry to the flows of its mercy.
So you went to the river to talk to the river
no Voodoo cult, occult magic—just the fact
the river never denies an answer.