Miles 104-116 | “The River Has Spoken” by Cori Storb

This piece is a poem that was written by the waters of our Poudre River. Woods were burned onto pieces of wood. I then asked a stranger on the bike path if he would be so kind as to walk upstream and throw the words into the river so they may float down. The river sorted the words as they traveled its swift waters. The words were then caught with nets as they arrived at a bridge. The words have been sewn to this fabric in the exact order they arrived. The fabric was dyed using rust from a spring mattress. The source text for the words came from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard, and the following letter, which I wrote to the River:

The wind lets go of everything it touches.

The river is just ever so slightly more sentimental than the wind. 

It holds things for a moment, sometimes, in the eddies. A twig that is handled a hundred times, by a spiraling hand. The deepest dark pools are lined with unknowable secrets.

Yet, the river is defined by what it lets go of. A low low bed where dreams of the Marianas trench slip away and away.

If we think of all the voices of water, the river is perhaps one of the loudest, with a scrawl that is strong enough to carve stone. When all the little meandering trickles come together and become very certain, that is River. And yet, what words is that waterfall roaring? I can’t quite tell. 

So let me give the river some words, as words have always been our little boats, carrying meaning from here to there. I will give these words a little extra flotation. Little wooden words that the river can pick and choose. 

But a question remains, is it the words the river holds for longest -the snags and the sinkers and the eddy dwellers- the words the river wants, and so it keeps them for as long as it pleases? Or is it the swift words, the ones that find the fastest current, are those the words the river is most eager to proclaim?

I also wonder, River, what is your name?

Cori Storb is sitting quietly. Yearning. Holding a dandelion out to the bunny in the garden. 

She is a professional burier of treasure. She builds worlds both big and small and designed the escape room Somewhere Secret here in Fort Collins.

Instagram: @coristorb