This Isn’t A Normal Story of Being Lost. I Am Not Afriad.

Dear,

The bracken is thick. My throat is sore. These things are related. I have a pen but no knife. I left it in a box near the kitchen so you could find it. I was afraid. You know what I mean. There are snails in my shoe. I put them there. You may find some in the cabinet next to my grandmother’s napkin rings. They like the dark. Give them a bit of moss. Though you may find it hard to gather any in the desert. It may rain. I think I felt it in my bones before I left. The desert welcomes it then floods. That’s what I’m doing. I stayed in the house too long. I need too much to go. This isn’t a normal story of being lost. I am not afraid. I was afraid, though, which is why I left the knife. While I’m in the bracken, I think of breasts. The kind that as I kid I wanted to learn to cut open. I never did learn, not really. I watched the other men do it. I hear you have to start at the bottom and work your way up. Careful not to cut the intestines or it will contaminate the meat. Mostly I was good at reading books and diagrams and instructional manuals on the porch in the heat drinking Big Red soda that I stole from the freezer where the men kept rabbits and rattle snakes. I liked the look of things frozen. Whole. Sometimes there were trails of brown that used to flow in veins of whatever rodent or reptile, on the freezer door handle. Worlds came off their brown gloves. Bodies. I was fascinated and frightened, which I suppose should have scared me. But instead I felt alive. Even as the shots rang out. The men walked through the brush in heat. Happy. I knew in my bones a kind of thrill they breathed. Though I was a girl and sat on the porch and drank Big Red and threw horseshoes. I have a knife hidden in the cabinet. At night I’m afraid I’ll swallow it. There are reasons the desert swells after a long drought. And it floods because it cannot accept too much of what it longs for. Because of this I had to leave. My throat hurts. The bracken is thick. But lost I am safer. You know what I mean. Keep the snails away from the sun.

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