Water Finds a Way
after The Alluvial Valley of the Lower Mississippi River maps by Harold Fisk, 1944
Ribbons sweep across the ivory map. Swirls of graphite memory. Persistence spilling over its banks time and time again. Changing its mind. Bending this way, then that. Gaining advantage here, cutting solid rock there. Sifting and shifting like it’s in a hurry to escape yesterday, carve a new folktale. Let bygones be byways, tripping over itself in continual haste. The mighty river leaves layers and layers of time. A thousand thousand changes. A billowy contortion of twisting chutes, little muddy rillets, flowering bourns. The wriggling eel loops and wanders across centuries, across state lines, across fifteen sheets of paper. A temporal meditation.
Jenna Heller is an American-Kiwi working, writing, and playing near the beach in Christchurch, New Zealand. As a fiction writer, she has won a handful of awards and appeared in the last two editions of Best Small Fictions (Sonder Press). In 2021, she was runner-up in the Caselberg International Poetry Prize.
You can see more of Jenna's work in 10.1 and 5.2 and 7.2 and 9.1 and 9.1