For weeks late at night I would sneak down to your river, carting away the water in furtive cupfuls, slowly revealing the layers of sediment and the quiet build of time. I wasn't sure quite what I was after, only that it was a secret that you maybe didn't know was there but that I wouldn't be allowed to see in the light. My heart thumped at each rustle in the trees and each time I dipped my cup in the water it ran around my knuckles and through my fingers, cool and clear and sweet.
But each morning I felt guilty for trying to peek and crept back down with my bottles of champagne, trying to bring the water level back up to where I had found it. In the sun the bubbles sparkled as they entered the current, and that seemed almost secret enough. And yet there I was, back again each night, slipping through the fence with my teacup, panning for needles in an invisible haystack.