The tourists eat hot dogs and stand on the rocks.


Martina has a smooth back and she is naked. Her skin is tanned and hugged against her bones. She is in wet water and she fishes. She trembles and she looks as though she does not want to see herself in more day or in more night.




Martina, Harrison says. Harrison is a cook. Harrison collects small rocks and puts the small rocks into rainbow colored sacks. The sacks sit on his mantle. Martina is quiet. Martina rocks back and forth on the bottoms of her feet. The fish are not hungry.


Harrison has a cabin on a hill. There is a painting of his uncle in his cabin. The painting is above his mantle. Harrison’s uncle is a Native. The Natives burn their skin and howl and dance with their hands. The tourists take pictures and whisper. The tourists have small backpacks.

There are marks on Harrison’s hands. Some of the marks are straight. Some of the marks are crooked.


On Tuesday, Martina suicides. She finds a rock in the wet water. The rock is sharp and the man who owns the general store says that it is not a rock. The man says that it is a weapon that the Natives created. The man has a moustache and he puts wax on his moustache.


She killed herself with a weapon, Harrison says. Martina lies in the wet water and the wet water moves over her body and changes into red. Martina has her eyes open and she has marks on her arms that are straight and long and smooth and it looks like she cut herself many times with the smooth rock.

Is the rock a weapon, the priest asks.


They will have to leave her here, Jefferson says. Jefferson is a tourist. He has flags in his house from seventeen countries. I have been to nineteen countries, Jefferson says. Jefferson wears glasses and his glasses get fogged when he is excited.


Later, when it is night time, Harrison brings a wool blanket and wraps it around Martina. The water makes the blanket wet. At least she won’t look like the other people in the photographs, Harrison says. She is like the other people, the priest says. The tourists take photographs and stand on the bank.

This is what life is like here. Maybe another Native will suicide again before we return to Memphis, Jefferson says. Jefferson has his hand around his wife. His children eat ice cream and have big eyes.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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