O Riparian City 

Kristina Faust

Twice per week I’ve been visiting a physical therapist who puts his fingers in
my mouth to stretch my misaligned jaw. I think of all sorts of things when his
hand is in there. Salmon, of course, come to mind, driving their sex-dumb
bodies upstream. I saw them myself once on a day that felt like summer
except for the piscine death ritual. Could we please read more about the
Hindenburg
, my son asks, chin-high in cotton blanket. Some kids like disaster
because they don’t know it in their bodies. We live in a river town. Things
pass us by. If they stop, as sometimes do trees or dams of ice, it isn’t a good
thing. Oprah came to town once to talk to us because we are remarkable for
being neither one way nor another, politically. She passed through and we
were unchanged. Even though the physical therapist wears gloves I smell
onions, but to say so would call up intimacy beyond the obvious, so I’m
quiet like a fish and do not struggle.