Read by Aaron Anstett
An inmate at the Winnebago County Jail escaped for a number of hours before north Iowa authorities captured him.
— KTTC, NBC affiliate, February 12, 2010
When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone?
— Job, 7:4
There was a time along the river, in the snow and cold. I didn't know where I was going. I had come crashing through river birch, willows, sumac that tore my feet. I had no shoes. My pants were a problem. Baggy, striped. I took them off. Everything, I took it off. There along the frozen river I stripped bare-ass naked – fat carp were iced into the falls, some big dark owl came over quiet as suffering Christ, and I was my body, like a boy out all day and who cares how cold it is. My breaths steamed out in chuffs and huffs, my tongue tasted weeds and water, black leach-track stones up from the river's muddy bottom. Beneath the ice, even there, the river knows. So I followed. Wherever it was going. Red flags trailing from my blue feet. Out the country club's picture window, I guess, someone saw me. Or my bleeding. And now I sit here warm as toast, my body lost, toeless feet black as stones. Why? What's it worth? I tell you every night I dream the Winnebago River, long wing of ice and leaning penitent trees. Miracle carp unfroze, flopping bare-assed in the snow. Sirens. And this time I stop, still as river birch: Above me my owl god of flight and silence, and having with my own eyes seen, I am Job. The falling snow? Not silver coins or rings, not some thousand-thousand sheep. For as they rush out – rifles, bullhorns, blackshoes, blackshoes – on my rucked and filthy skin there is this light-shot skin of snow.