Anna Prushinskaya

River Prayer

He said to her, “Everything is penetration. Everything is entanglement.” Sure, she said. She looked out at the river. They were sitting on its banks in a place where yesterday, before the rain and the rising, the water was far away. Now she could dip her fingers into the current. Trees on the island, flattened. He had taken her to hunt, her first. She had missed and done some damage. They had tracked it, its deep, guttural blood. After, she cut it open, straying from the method he’d advised. Oh, she’d said, of the way the skin stretched taut and steady against the blade. “Jump,” he said. Water ran brown into her. Banks, covered with frogs who’d lost their way. No one here, no one at all, was an animal. She had dreamt she was an animal made of parts of other animals. A pheasant, tiger skin, the claws of prehistoric reptiles. She had slept with the radio on all night and with him.