Miller spoke clean words. His parents loved him the most of all. Privilege. His pants never tearing on trees. His legs superb and strong. Miller was a strength, Eliza a beautiful curiosity. Eliza saw his lips and clouds opened to sun. A latch between breasts covering the door to her heart. Miller’s sleeve creases. Miller’s sharp eyes. Cottonwood trees say love is wind. Snakes in grass say love is warmed rocks. Miller says love is Eliza. A tiny latch and its metal lock. A lock with no hole for a key. Eliza believes love is sun, coming uncovered from clouds.
Gideon was a son that was only so. Gideon with holes in the knees of his pants, the cottonwoods eating his clothes. But Gideon’s hands, the magnificent stretch of fingers, the slender open palms. Eliza believes in moons as she believes in sun. Sees in the moon the potential to reverse. Gideon believes in night-stalking. Gideon believes in taking. The river that bends around their town bends around these beliefs, holding steady in the night of moons. Gideon wants everything. Eliza sees how the moon can reflect a sun, how the two can float around each other in liquid counterpoint.
In the river are rocks worn smooth by water. Eliza between Gideon and Miller. Both in button-down shirts. Both recklessly hoisting rifles, carving trees with bullets, spearing through the ribs of other men. For Eliza there are no other men. For Eliza there is a sun and a moon. For Eliza a snake and a warm rock and a latch and a key are obstacles in the way. She is in love with Miller. She is in love with Gideon. For Eliza, war-field shrieks are birds singing, trees are for shade, and men are in-between how she can continue this.