Three Gorges Dam

In a drop of water, the molecules on the surface are attracted inwardly by the pull of other molecules within the bead. This pull is a result of the polarity within the molecule itself. Oxygen pulls the electrons closer to its larger nucleus creating a negative charge, while the lack of electrons creates a positive charge around the hydrogen atoms. Each individual molecule is then drawn together through the affinity for the opposite charge.

Imagine a dewdrop hanging precariously to a blade of grass. The surface is smooth. Tenuous. Now picture it falling. It holds its shape. Briefly, you might see your own reflection.

The Three Gorges Dam Project will be 1.2 miles across and 600 feet high. It will create a reservoir 360 miles long and will submerge 632 square kilometers, 113 cities, 140 towns, 1352 villages, 657 factories, and will ultimately cause the relocation of 1.3 million people.

The colder water is carried by convection currents to the bottom of the dam where it will eventually be released. The release creates electricity. The release creates a river. Release. A natural phenomenon. Millions of people visit the dam every year. The water is clearer than before. The fish disappear. Questions will always arise.

A push. A pull. There is an attraction from inside. The persuasion of differences creates a new bond and, to an extent, elasticity. I always thought the Yangtze River began in Kazakhstan, but it doesn’t. Think of when you were certain. What did it look like? I think of the world and all of its oceans. There is too much space. There is so much space.


Paul Sacksteder
Paul Sacksteder is a writer who is finishing his MFA in Las Vegas. He likes to go birdwatching.