That evening she painted her nails metallic rose,
placed the opal on her finger, and walked
down the block to a party in the moss garden.
A friend held her hand, getting involved
with the milky luminescence of the ring.
Before long he was telling her how his uncle
loved to float down the river with a favorite cow.
And indeed that bovine figure was a fabled swimmer.
The river had a bluish tint and swirled slowly
beneath the trees. The cow with a hoop in its nose
swam on a rope near his uncle. This uncle, who had
lived alone his whole life, always spoke of the cow.
By some accounts, both could be seen as flying.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.