We Two Alone Will Sing

by Sheena Sauls

The gulls flew south into the valley that fall, gossamer fog tied to their tails, and were caught up in the walnut trees like the memory of some destructive force—the ash that turned everything concrete when the mountains caught fire, or pools of condensation left by half-empty bottles after a fight. I sat on the hood of our yellow rusted Pinto and watched them arrive, the gulls, and they live in every drawing I made that year, childish bruised lipstick stains circling the Sierras.

We drove in circles through the valley that fall, watching the light all turn fluorescent, and I bit my lip when mother hit Route 6, heading north instead of our street. She shook me awake at the cape, bought two coffees, and didn’t brush the sand from her jeans. On the hood of the Pinto she poured from her bottle into both paper cups, and we watched the sun being born from its place just out in the water.

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