Winter in Gold River
Pretty girl. The weather has knocked her down again and given her to the lake to wear as a skin. Why am I always being the weather? There were days in the winter when her smile was so lovely I felt the breathing of my own goodness, though it remained fetal and separate. I was a scavenger who survives with a sling and stones, but whose god nonetheless invents the first small bright bird. And it was like flight to bring food to her lips with a skeletal hand. But now she will always be naked and sad. She will be what happens to lake water that is loved and is also shallow enough. The thickening, the slowing, the black blood of it, the chest opened to reveal the inevitable heart attack. God, the silence of the chamber we watch from. What happens to water that isn't loved? It undergoes processes. It freezes beside traffic. But the reaching out to all sides at once, the wet closing of what was open? That is a beautiful woman. So of course I stand and stare, never able to pinpoint the exact moment I killed her.
From The Stranger Manual. Copyright © 2010 by Catie Rosemurgy. Used with permission of Graywolf Press.