He knew she lived somewhere near river since he lived on river. Mornings, her hair passed by him on the water and, come evening, returned to her. He waited until he knew each strand. Then, having cleaned himself with flour and dressed in red, he walked until he found a brick hut. No entry.

That night he felt the roughest parts with his fingers and, though he did not find her exit, the sounds he made pleased him. Second night—by now his reds were fading—he thought as he touched the other parts: My hunger is cilice, dead heat dead shot dead time. By fifth night he was doing with his throat what he imagined river would do if it had throat.


By noon next day, he had taken her strands and hung them in the trees. BOIS would have it. Each time she called 4Winds, world was instrumental. (In six months, they had three children, whom they named Fanny, Fanny, and Osprey.) So: world was stochastic hijiki.


He lifted her onto shale near river to show bird-eating birds what he and she were made of—names. Birds did not need shale-lovers to function; they did not want shale-lovers to function. As she brought him to her lips she made him see through jade brouillard that had settled in their valley and ruined all trees not marked with fern-ash—CRISP SHOUTOUT TO MORBIER. It was natural what they did. Even the words. Even dancing—drenched—away from light.


She tugged on his sleeves of clay. He looked past her, saw two herons colliding, leaving dust on a frog’s lower lip. Fusain dropped from pines and said, «If either desires to move armoire riverside and see what happens, now’s the time». So she forgot what she had wanted to say, he skirted the duties herons had given him, and they went to her Aunt’s place to fetch beige armoire, whose name was Fossa. In her Aunt’s yard they picked up three cherry-colored feathers near Pierre De Ronsards. Within a quarterhour they’d glued feathers around Fossa’s keyhole, and had left her by river that moved slow—heard slow.

River did not mind cherries. River loved armoires, but river could not stand the color beige. River dived to bottom and found mud that could pass for lips and river coated armoire with lips. Fossa, after the thirty minutes she had paid for were up, said—«What is it you think you are doing?» River said, «You were an orphan. Now your home is my reach. You were not that attached to your color, were you?»

«Nope», said Fossa, «Colors are for hills. People like us should be more into frames and clear lavender coast».