Different Skies
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Tales from RiversHannah Meszaros Martin

No Name River

A bigger river holds more in it. This one holds the ended lives of others. Trees and plants and arms and legs. What else.

I have given up looking now.

A severed heart. Río Magdalena cuts through the centre of Antioquia. Flowing north.

There is a village on the river that collects the no names who float down it. Fishermen catch them in their nets. An old man went blind from carrying them in his wheelbarrow.

In the village they are baptised and given new names. Then they are mourned for.

The River next to La Unión

A farm without a house. Looked over the hill at its neighbour. There is a river flowing in between. The space of this farm becomes thin, as we get to know why. There are so few people living here.

Everyone lives together now.

After the sound of the rain ended I was woken up by three blasts. The first opened my eyes. The next two shook the night, and I am left breathing in the night. They say there hasn’t been combat here for six months.

He walks much faster than me. He would run up the mountain if I wasn’t here. There was rain all night so the jungle is full, and the day is young and hot. The village’s water supply had stopped in the night. Moved sediment and debris gets caught at the source of the pipeline. Every time this happens he goes up the mountain to fix it.

We cannot leave if it keeps raining. Rain everyday means the river flows high and fast. We cannot cross it in the morning so we wait until the sun dries it back down a little.

We leave La Unión next to the river.

Río Claro

I saw the future world. It was empty and sad. Sad because it was lonely. Even the snakes and the fish had left.

The people had been killed long before. And thus the land had been emptied right before it was turned out. The small hills filled with millions of valuable rocks. A Spanish colonist lit a fire on a dark mountain in Bolivia and saw a silver gleam shine up from the soil where he sat.

A light came up from under the earth. Cerro Rico. The doom of the poor. The doom of the dark mountain.

We met a river there. It was filled with the emptiness of the land. Dust from the opened earth made the water opaque, light catching the surface, before the refraction stopped dead. We floated down the river following the dust and other particles we couldn't see. Looking around, the dust was caked on the leaves of the trees. On the blades of grass. The forest was quiet as we drifted.

But I missed the people you see. The fish and even the snakes.

I looked into the future of Urabá, and I didn't see you there.