Mist filled up the valley like a clogged sink. He could no longer see the tops of the river trees, and he took it on faith that the water kept going, sluggish and full of hidden fish. Back at home, his wife was waiting for an answer, and he kept turning it over like a bone he’d found, trying to guess the animal. He knew there were parts along every river where you cannot tell which way the water is moving — even if you’re standing next to it, even if you immerse yourself in the wetness that has come that far.
Charles Rafferty‘s twelfth collection of poems is The Smoke of Horses (BOA Editions, 2017). His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, O, Oprah Magazine, Prairie Schooner, and Ploughshares, and his stories have appeared in South 85 Journal, The Southern Review and Per Contra. His story collection is Saturday Night at Magellan’s. He has won the 2016 NANO Fiction prize, as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism. Currently, he directs the MFA program at Albertus Magnus College and teaches at the Westport Writers’ Workshop.