I walked along the railroad tracks gazing at the river, many other rivers running through my mind as I did so, memories of wild beauty and calm. Those rivers flow through my mind even though today many of them have likely shifted and dried up and died on this earth from those places they were. But the flow continues somewhere, forever. I wanted to know about fish in the river, and I saw a young man who works for the railroad company and I called to him and asked about fishing. This is not, as I knew, a place of cutthroats, of sparkling trout. This is a land of Inca ruins and trains and locals working, so the man and I took a walk down the riverside and talked about rails and ruins, Manuel and me.
Another tired man, I had no need to tell him I am a stranger. Everybody knows. Manuel and I took a walk down the riverside by the tracks and he pointed out ruins there and a path across the water on the mountain side, part of this settlement built on steep slopes and the constant danger of falling. We looked at trains. At railroads that curled like smoke above his shoulder.
Maybe all things move and all things change; or maybe all this is illusion. I love the rocking and the swaying of the movement forward in the night, the surrounding darkness giving shelter like the womb or the perhaps the tomb, quiet and peaceful like a fish swimming in a river; like a man going nowhere.
In this valley of rivers and trains a man could reach for the sky only to surrender. There is nowhere else to go but onward. A stranger to Manuel, a man among trains by the river in a dark valley.