This land requires blood to go on. I look up from the meal as your knife clatters against the dish. You are eating the meat of blood, dear Petrov. I cooked this animal for the evening meal. You shake your head in a rough way. Saying it’s not the same. Continuing to eat. Ferocious now. Avoiding my gaze. Earlier the day was hot and bright. After breakfast we took to the river. I praying the small wooden boat would hold. Rot and winter have nearly capsized it before. Yet you seemed jolly enough. Despite the prior calamities of our vessel. If we go under just swim to the top you said. Well of course I will swim to the top. Dear Petrov, is there another option. I live alone through dark white winters. The river will hardly decide my fate. My fate will not be uncovered on a hot and blooming day. While you are here with me. For so little time. Holding the oars steady. Unaware of the pulse in my neck rushing faster. On the river we glide. The water so clear I can see to the bottom rocks. I thought of taking off my dress. Plunging in naked. To frighten you. Make you think I had indeed decided my fate. After all.