There’s a sign that says:
Four people died here. A cascade of water tumbles over rocks into a pool. On the edges,
it’s clear; you can see silt at the shallow bottom. The pool, though, is dark.
It leads to a cavern hidden beneath the surface,
undercurrents dragging the water there and holding it.
Pink Styrofoam insulation is trapped at the sidelines, broken up.
Caramel colored foam stirs on the surface like a macchiato
and the swift smell of wet rocks caffeinates the air.
A gorge rises up on either side of the death-pool, a hundred feet at least.
There’s suicide net around the suspension bridge up top
to stop drunk college kids from dying, but the line is clear. The line between walking and falling,
standing and drowning.
Living and dying is as clear as the air; it’s easy to see in a place like this,
where four people died.
The sign says: Trespassers subject to arrest.
Getting perilously close to the falls for a photograph;
the water, a living varnish for the stones,
makes them beautiful, just as the treacherous trench of the pool, the dizzying depth of the gorge,
makes this place special.
Yellow-billed ducks bob on the surface. Mallards, a couple of males have those green heads they’re so proud of.
They were sitting on some rocks when we got here, and hopped into the water in their politely wary way,
leaving shit behind for me to sit in.
They float over the dark pool where four people died. They’re funny to look at,
and so perfectly wonderful
that I can’t help smiling.