[37] River of Doors, Dan A. Cordoza

Leanne stood vigil on the clay banks of the river, a place she seldom spoke. And if she did, she was polite, “Would you please move out of my view?”

With time, she’d learned how many pectorals, dorsal and caudal fins there were in the River of Doors. It wasn’t calculus, she just knew. Grief is a clever teacher, pain a good student.

Someone in yellow goulashes once speculated she’d developed fishnet thinking, new genomes and synapse that facilitate math. Her parents’ explanation was lame, “It’s an unproductive habit.”

Those who truly loved Leanne knew her to be caring and wise, comfortable with being peculiar.

She continued to communicate with her only brother when they were alone, though he rarely spoke, but when he did, she imagined him still angry because she’d forbidden him to go swimming.

One day, desperate, at the watery edge of her abyss, she tossed her bloody heart into the chaos of the current, she fancied it a key. The river opened wide and guzzled, then continued its slide downstream.

Not one click or clack of brass, or hinge of creaky crows, not one opening, nothing but the sad sound of water bathing water.

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