She Rises Then: prologue to The Floating Harbour


She rises then, placing a hand on the metal of the frame with such lightness that I believe she would not have moved the structure were it constructed in paper any more than were it constructed in gold, and, while she stands within the frame and upon the horizontal sheet that joins the industrial relic’s legs, my arms resting near at the elbows, left hand enclosed in right, being unable to join her standing in the centre formed and framed by the grey-painted metal my feet are planted instead beside the abandoned tracks of the train system laced through the surface of the harbour wall, we look across and over the locked-in tidal waters of the river at the city it passes through and throughout – quiet and lit, the sun fallen gently into the woods that crest the glacial gorge to the immediate west – and though I may, unlike her, see before me only the floating harbour and the city outline as they presently stand and breathe, I can still sense the past it rests upon and see it almost forming in reflection on the languid water’s surface, itself reflected clearly in the flowing, bright blueness of her thoughtful eyes.

I give voice to her name again, though I do not shift my gaze.

“Yes?” The way her voice blends with the feel of the slight wind, the shimmer of the calm waters, and the lights of the city creates a sound to match her eyes, which, as with mine, remain toward the river and its city.

“Will you tell me now what it means? Your name?”

Shifting gaze and turning heads, mine now resting on the knuckles of my left hand, the right resting on the metal surface, we look across and over at each other, and she smiles to match her eyes. Crouching to end one of her rarer moments of stillness she proceeds to trace a series of symbols into the slight dirt layer clothing the surface. Then, moving from her crouch and sweeping into a sitting position, she lets her legs dangle restlessly over the edge and looks across her shoulder at her finger-markings, upside down now to her view.

From out of a contented smile moves the sound that is the flowing, deep blueness of her eyes as she assures me:

“You know these symbols.”

I do know these symbols; and so I know the meaning of her name.

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