Rivers. They are women. Starting out small girls, tiny streams decorated with wildflowers. Then they are torrents, gorging paths through sheer granite, flinging themselves off cliffs, fearless and irresistible. Then they grow fat and serviceable, broad slow curves carrying commerce and sewage, but in their unconscious depths catfish gorge, grow the size of barges, and in the hundred year storms, they rise up, forgetting the promises they made, and drown everything for miles around. Finally, they give out, birth-emptied, malarial, into a fan of swamp that met the sea.