After the jobs have gone the towers remain, the wide geometric cylinders that the town is named after. Like ramparts. Everyone flows down river, for work, for people, those who can find either; the rest stay at home, growing strange, growing damp, breath sweet with moss, hair tangled with eagle’s feathers.

Cedar has been here before, or someplace as near to it as makes no nevermind. She bunks down in the ruins of an old high school, abandoned now, half converted into a false castle by someone with more time than sense. The halls are empty, and echo with the slap of possum tails and the heavy, resentful voices of crows.

She is hooking up with a townie, bones resting on bone, his eyes the vague noncolor of river water. He talks, but she hasn’t learned the language yet. She nods, smiles, gasps; he seems satisfied. They’re both someone new, something different, a brief widening of scope before summer chokes the river dry.