Abyssal Plain

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After he shot a hole in the paddleboat on Reservoir 3, I started hearing about Nute’s crystal meth use, and when he slammed me drunk against the wall with his oak-rough hands the last time, there was nothing left to do but drive straight out of that western sunset that burned like a worried bruise. I was tired of returning to work on the ranch each day, our struggles stitched on my lip. The silence of others trembled like shadows at the serrated edges of merlot leaves. Everywhere on the ranch, silence. Sloshing in four-wheeler gastanks. Stretching from the thistle-filled vineyard rows. Burrowing in the quills of owls. Skittering through beady coyote eyes. Until I buried it in the Atlantic in the ear of a conch, exhaling that pink smooth secret. Half mollusk, half water.

-Sarah McCartt-Jackson-
“Abyssal Plain.” Inch Magazine. Fall (2013): 22. Print.

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