City of Rivers

by Derrick Austin
Austin. Trouble the Water. City of Rivers
All this—the bridges, the market, epitaphs— were under silt not long before we came to the city that marks its years by rising floods. As we pass a shop on stained stone streets, a glassblower fashions an urn from fire and air. Lace-makers scrub rust from a door's agitated joints. This is the city, someone said, you never enter into the same way. I wanted this passage for us, abandonment and remaking, the cicada stripping itself from itself. Despite peach iced tea, the heat sticks to us like flies. Even the plaster walls of our rented room sweat. Where we going tomorrow, you ask, emerging, naked, from a cool shower. Rivulets chart your body's cartography; they steam and shine and lift themselves to you.