I took the stone to a fence that surrounds an old, decaying wharf on the Mississippi River levee. I let it hang out for a while, enjoying the view, while a freight train groaned and squealed behind me. Then, with it in my hand, I crawled under a spool of barbed wire and walked over and under the foundation beams of a razed naval base, through grabbing brush and brambles, out onto the river's shore. The water was roiling and wild, and the riverside was choked with deadfall and garbage. There was a pair of brown cordovan loafers placed neatly on the rock next to where I stood, as if someone had removed them and left them on his doorstep. It began to rain. I threw the stone into the river with all my strength. Maybe it will find its way to the Gulf, or maybe it will embed itself in the silt under two hundred dark feet of America's water...I guess it's up to the river.

Michael Winter
March 16, 2010
New Orleans, Louisiana