Some have stood flapping on the bridge’s edge with their cars still
running behind them, resolved to jump,
to shatter themselves against its surface
and make its cyclonic approach the last thing they see on earth.
I’ll admit that the river would make a nice final image,
but I’d rather it happen by accident.
Boys fish with their fathers from the trees
and their rambunctious, collared dogs do obeisance while
slaking nagging thirsts at its bends.
I envision it from high above:
A long, silver, illegible signature
on a still-drying document; the surrounding
space bristling with bright particles constantly
repositioning themselves. I try to imagine it
in the days before the commonwealth,
before we colonists came to wade in, belly first,
sunglasses dangling from our necks
by neon-green tubes. I can’t see it.
Cars pass by above, each one sounding like a gasp.
The old women opposite me
rip their blankets, bandage-wise, from the bank
and depart in high dudgeon.
They have heard too much cursing today.
My last look at the river before I head off to work
is cut short by a crisp salvo of metallic pops.
I look to the left and I see him, see the flowers
blooming ugly on his shorts and the thick trail
of black fur that obscures his navel and leads
south into his straining waistband.
I see the three tall boys squeezed fizzing between his thighs,
hear his wet ass bray against the hot rubber
of the inner tube as he settles in for a long trip toward the Chesapeake.
Take me now, I mutter, closing my eyes as the current
spins him slowly away from me.
Please, please take me now.
About the AuthorJeffrey Winter is an English student at University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He lives there with his wife and two children. This is his first publication.