Friday, June 24


You had this little river, Charity, that scalloped round your hem like a taffeta ruffle. It glided through your bottomlands... winking with minnows and riverflies and waterbugs. It was ornamented with big, drowsy snap-turtles sitting like figurines on rocks; had little jeweled perch in it and thick purple catfish shining in it and sliding cottonmouth watermoccasins. It crawled, croaking with bullfrogs and ticking and sucking and clucking and shining, round through meadows of bottomland palmettos..., between muscadine vines that plashed up like fretted fountains (and trailed and curled and twined over the ground and crept over old stony logs and ancient saffron-golden rotted wood festered with the decoration of pink and white and azure fungusflowers, and climbed up trees and coiled round their branches and then were flung down again in tassels and sprays and thick swags over the river), under purple hangings of moss and under bridges of many little towns until, somewhere far away from you, Charity, in a place you did not know but only imagined, it swam into a bay.

-- William Goyen The House of Breath