an on-line poetry magazine
for the 21st century
They never gave the river a name. It was only “the river.” The only river they knew. The river that was always the same, yet different each time they stepped into it. Sometimes words floated up from the bottom that resembled the creatures that lived there, creatures that they never saw. The words contained the rules they were expected follow, but they were written in a language they did not understand. They were the reason the religion was created.
Rewind. To where the bird is flying overhead, to where the woman seems to have two bodies, to where the forest is only starting to burn. Rewind. And then rewind again. So that the sun is repeated, so that the moon is broken, so that the man escapes from the only label he has been given. Each time we watch we will have new thoughts, but never enough to escape from the prison we call our bodies.
The wheel was easy enough. And fire. And the sharpened stones. Even the words for them seemed obvious. And the difference between the water and the earth. Later he would be moved into a different story that contained color. And counting. And a woman.
Bob Heman’s prose poems have appeared recently (or are upcoming) in Otoliths, Disquieting Muses Quarterly, Unlikely Stories, Muddy River Poetry Review, and Home Planet News online, and in the anthology A Cast-Iron Aeroplane That Can Actually Fly: Commentaries from 80 Contemporary American Poets on Their Prose Poetry (MadHat Press). His art includes collages, drawings, and participatory cut-out multiples on paper.