Monday, July 16, 2018
When we part the brush and rush the bank 
the bodies bob faceup and facedown 
in the mountain stream like apples 
in a Halloween game. Our headlamps paint 
skin bluer than it really is, but it’s blue. 
Holding the neck of who’s closest we lift her
to the shore. I start my ABCs. Thanks 
to the frigid water half her symptoms 
are real. For the other half she whispers 
answers to me. In five minutes we have 
all the victims on land, even the one 
who proclaims himself dead. I represent 
mouth-to-mouth by pinching her nose 
and saying breathe. I know it’s wrong, 
but I sneak peeks at the fullness of her 
lips, their dark hue. I pinch. I say breathe
We’re doing all this because that boy 
drowned and might’ve lived if 
his family had had the right training. 
She tells me she’s breathing again. 
I take her pulse. It’s weak and thready, 
she whispers. I pretend I’m ripping off 
her clothes and wrapping her in blankets. 
When she comes to, she doesn’t have to 
whisper anymore. In her normal voice she asks 
what happened, though this too is scripted.
Monday, July 16, 2018