Down the River to the Sea

Past the old buildings, through the grove of tamarind trees stirring in the midday silence. Across the broken paving stone path by the hibiscus bushes. They hiss with drowsy insects and weep their choking sweet scent to invite more.

Now, in the brutal heat, the cricket field is deserted. Grasshoppers leap in the wake of my strides across the acid green grass leading down to the river’s edge. I drink in the hot, humid air that smells of fertility and rot until my lungs are bursting.

And then I scream.

And scream.

And scream.

And scream until my throat is bloodraw and my chest threatens to implode.

Here in this vacuum.

Here in this killing jar.

Here on this specimen board, stabbed through the thorax with a pin of my own making.

I scream until my body knows it is useless, until the thing that is screaming isn’t me anymore. The river snatches it away and carries it off to the sea.

One morning, a few years hence, you will turn on your tap and, in that first spray of water, hear the faint sound of a woman’s cry. You’ll dismiss it as a figment of your imagination, and wash the sleep from your face.

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