the river swells in her bed, an ocean
trapped in an earthy body. the rains
haven’t stopped all summer; violence
ripples in her skin. on the right shoulder
of the bridge, an ambulance
idles flashing. 20 feet ahead, the water
rescue team is parked, bright red against
gray concrete. men
lean into the rail, searching,
their whole minds in their eyes,
scanning movement for movement,
pushing the churn of fear
down behind only: see.
there is a faith in this, whatever
they believe at home on a Sunday.
a blind looking, in hope.
one gets a message
on the radio at his hip.
they climb back in their trucks.
there is nothing
but current below, wild ever-dance
of waters downstream. a sadness
in the way the ambulance pulls
away, its lights extinguished.