The American River flows down into the Yakima valley from the eastward slopes of Mt Rainier. I've never learned how it got its name.
I hold your desire, this small thing, in the palm of my hand. An opening eye, hot with tears. A ticking pulse in the furred vulva. A wriggling living request. And after the ruckus, I hold it in my hand again, protectively, while its tears dry, and it's soothed to sleep.
All night the rush of the river. The sleepy rounding of flank and breast, soft breath and sudden restless turns. And finally the sun comes to the crowns of the trees, and the stars are gone, impossibly gone.
I revive the fire. My fingers smell of ash and pine pitch, and of you. I set the coffee-water in the flames. The sun comes down, finally, to the river, and the glitter off the water dapples the kettle.
The mountain, they say, is behind the hills, and the stars are behind the blue sky. I wouldn't know.