Even an entirety must have an edge. Just as the continents drifted before, leaving a line against water: California. It will happen again. They’ve been predicting it all of our lives and even before: all the faults will split at once and drop California into the ocean. Cliff crumbs. Crumb cliffs. But before half of it is submerged underwater, California will burn.
Because we grow up in a drought seven years long. Because what we think are rocks burst into crystallized dust under the pressure between our fingertips. Our bodies have a thirst to be immersed in water. All the creeks are dry and anyway we are too young to know they ever carried water. But there is a private reservoir. Still full.
I learn from her the practice of disobedience: how to switch off the motion detector light on the porch, how to move in a way to be mistaken for an animal. There is nothing but night in the mountains at night. Hardly headlights or a bulb to captivate a moth. No fences, only trees. But the property lines are known. The children may run through the woods along paths made by deer, but only one creature will be punished for trespass.
Heat from their bodies cannot evaporate the wet evidence of the reservoir on their skin. I can’t imagine that a twelve year old with braces would give a good blow job. But I can imagine that under threat of a neighbor with a gun in the night in the mountains at night, that she might find it doable.
From Imaginary Explosions (Broken Dimanche Press, 2018)