Lulu Lovering CC
We weave a path down to the river,
Of stumbling steps, of stinging nettles
And bluebells and marigolds. We could
Be kids again. We are kids, it feels that way,
It's hard to picture us as graduates in
A few months with real jobs and real
Responsibilities. I worry about my
Pain condition, how awful it will be
Managing it around a job,
Though I rarely tell them this.
The river is awash with stones, boulders,
Dirt, sediment, rich and earthy. I could rub
It on my face. I could stand in the river
And weight myself down and drown.
Geminis need to be near water,
That's what the spiritualists say
We thrive there, near beaches and rivers
And lakes and streams. My Piscean friend
Has already kicked off her sandals,
Already submerged her feet in the
Cool waters. Pisces hate shoes, she grins,
It's so true. There's no ammonites here,
I sigh, wistfully, only the old fossils
Or aged beer cans and cigarette butts
For company. We wade a little upstream,
Climbing a bridge, avoiding tourists,
Ducking under foliage. We get to an
Even more secluded stretch of river
And perch on one of the rocks,
Trying to skip stones and instead
Just tossing them into the water,
Creating small ripples and tsunamis.
I am thinking about everything I have
Been through to get to this place,
Mostly peaceful, body still wracked
With familiar pangs of pain, heart still
Aching but growing stronger each day.
I've lived here for so many years,
my friend says, I never knew this existed.
It seems all that exists between us now
Is this river and the unspoken notion
That one day we might forget each other.
I pool my hands into the water, fish out
A rock. It's brown stone with some kind
Of crystal shine to it. A dirty diamond,
A precious stone protected by grimy
Sediment. I put it in my pocket. I am
Thinking about death. I am thinking about
Being in love. How it isn't fair to suffer
So much and still not get what you want.
I call out to my patron deities in this
Contemplative space as my friend continues
To throw rocks into the river.
I summon Mercury and Bast, Diana and Anubis
And Coventina, little known Roman goddess
Of wells and springs.
I ask them why we always lose
The people we love.
They don't have a good answer for me.
They never do.
Sarah Loverock is a writer and MA Creative Writing student from England. She writes across a wide range of fiction, creative non-fiction, and experimental works. She won first prize for her debut story, Consider an Apartment in Washington, in the Streetcake Prize for Experimental Writing, 2019. Her work is often informed by her own life experiences and causes that matter to her—ranging from abuse recovery to sexuality to British politics. She is available on Twitter @asoftblueending.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.