to 5

    on the 5ives




Hearing the falls, you forget the sweat streaming into your eyes and over your lips, forget the larval colony in your armpit, forget the leeches draining your life, forget the mosquitoes and vines kissing your neck, forget most of all why you are here.
      The expedition strung along a quarter-mile of path finally rests where it can feel the mist and the steam billowing hundreds of feet above the riverdrop. In the camp, you can barely hear yourself think; the rainforest grows through your mind. Retreat to a tent and calculate by six maps exactly where the cataract should be. Eventually, under the net, you try to sleep but only hear the water descending and sense undying isolation.
      The watercrush becomes the monotony within you.


A scream dissolves the trance.
     Reports around the camp that a guide's throat has been slit.
     What caused the attack? Blackmail? Superstition? A grudge leading to an argument? Someone asking why are we here?
     The killer, unresisting, is dragged into the night jungle and roped to a tree. The expedition hopes that the animals will finish this inauspicious affair.


Later, head against a rough pillow of bark, ants traversing the arcs of the ears, you are relieved in a way and finally allow the falls to lull you to sleep.




victoria falls

bob castle