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YET OTHER WATERS / Walter Bargen You could not step twice in the same rivers; for others and yet other waters. . . —Heraclitus With sand to shake from damp towels; to work out of our shoes on the porch step, turning them upside down; to wash out hair and scalp, the softest folds of skin; and later to fall from the novel, its cover slightly curled from too much sun, and there on the desk, not to read, but to find no good reason to continue, seeing each grain, each rounded edge and prismatic center, a kaleidoscope of grit to be swept clean and carried off . . . but then I can't stop recalling: pulling her close, wet and naked, chilled by the tidal wind, nipples puckered, the curve of her spine drifted with sand, and the waves breaking, breaking. ... Is this what Heraclitus meant, that we could not step into the same body twice, whether it is a river, ourselves, or another, that we are not just the same slipping away, but the sand we walk over and carry with us, caught in our cuffs and shoes, is forever changed, and changes us, though love may cling like each grain late in the day on dunes still leaning against a winded sea. —for Bobette The Missouri Review · 217 RUMORS OF YOUR DEATH / Walter Bargen The rumor of my death is greatly exaggerated. —Mark Twain I want to tell him the reports of his death are not exaggerated, and though he was born on the approach of a comet and smart enough to die on its return, his death has survived and is celebrated, and so have others who were less noble, or more, depending on your point of view, and who you want to believe about robbing the rich and giving to the poor, or just robbing the rich, which for some is enough, and as social gadfly he would agree, I think; and after one too many train and bank robberies, the Hole-in-the-Wall civilized, Butch Cassidy went south to America, Patagonia and Bolivia, where his extravagant failures to survive were reported in shootouts in courtyards surrounded by "federales," in Uruguay with the police, in front of an army firing squad, outside Rio Pico in the foothills, the "bandalero norteamericano" staining every Andean pass, and still he was later seen running guns for Pancho Villa, prospecting in Alaska, riding in a Wild West show, or accompanying a young Indian boy on an odessey through the Amazon and even his sister, Lula, claimed 218 · The Missouri Review they ate blueberry pie in Circleville, Utah twenty-five years after his last reported dying, and then she added overexposure during the Depression, which is only one more time, and I think he would agree death is so much larger than all our dyings, than even a comet, and lives on without us. Walter Bargen The Missouri Review · 219 ...


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