The air is thick where the Bendimahi meets the Gulf of Ercis. Deprived of energy (and all hope of escape), the mountain stream creeps reluctantly across the floodplain before slipping under the waves of Lake Van. Slender reeds bend to watch the demise. It is not a unique spectacle. Gravity forces every stream in the region to the same end. The basin simply has no exit. Van is an endorheic sea, a marine cul-de-sac. I lean forward, ponder this fact, and look in vain for the terminus. Between the mud, reeds, and island clumps I cannot tell where river ends and sea begins.