The River Man

He steps with bare feet into the fresh water of the river,

He feels the slippery mud rise through his toes,

But keeps on walking as if he is walking on hard concrete.

He is not sure why he walked into the water, but he knew he was in the right place.

From his knees down, his legs had already begun to disappear.

He didn’t pay much attention to this,

It was supposed to happen.

He sank lower and lower until he felt he no longer had legs,

Then he saw two fish swim away, upstream, in the direction he was walking,

His legs.

He fell onto his palms,

He felt the same sensation,

The wet mud rising up through his fingers’ spaces.

He let the current knock him over and flip him without control,

He knew that it was meant to happen.

He felt his arms disintegrate under him, not worrying.

His arms were digging and disintegrating all at once, into the ground,

The mud under him lit up with life all at once,

But he was left limbless.

He was nothing but a stub of a man now,

Floating through the river with no real purpose.

He was waiting for something to happen, Because he knew it would.

The wings dug into the back of his half-body,

He was bloody and tired.

The wings spread, as his body became smaller along with his head,

He hovered over the river, as small as a butterfly,

His past self was forever deposited in the river,

Giving it a new life, while doing the same for him.

-Ben Rosenberg