The river their guide jumped into, they told me on their return from Peru, was a chummed raw sienna, not mackerel-blue. He leaped in and nearly knocked the boat over! They expected schools of frothing teeth to harvest him; but he surfaced, face bright as an anxious fish hook. Laughing, he waggled his fingers, splayed them tight round the boat’s side as if it were a stage curtain. The jungle chattered more than it had for days. They shed clothes at this solid translation of aqui es seguro and leapt into the haze. Tuesday’s heat flash-dried their bodies, as well as the splashed pants, jungle hats, and a psalter propped open to air the pages. Was that a lost sloth there, gray among viridian, the alter- ego of the elusive piranha? They searched the shore until their narrow boat turned suddenly dull against the vermilion sun-glare. They listened to the river’s song of constancy.