The river, its arguments smudged
like a wallet from greasy fingerprints,
gives up over its course all carding,
ID’s, unions, obituaries, places
and names, business passed by,
for the greater happiness
somewhere in time, a role
played out and measured
on flood poles. Year-marked. Especially
in small towns levels are noticed,
in cafes where a river runs by windows
and buries fields in silt every century.
Another, muddy world. A fortune in water.