“A barely-born daughter, I was wrenched from my cave, slipping loose from the outer skin. Behind me is the memory of another body, never born at all. My squall splits the silence; my layers peel back and away, off my shoulders like hard wings that flicker behind me in the wind. The word that comes to mind is muscovite. It splits into sheets, thin panes to peer through, glass-like. Peel away the lacquered exoskeleton, and the light shines through.
Later, I hang skins over the cave-mouth, wish I had never left.”
“It was a long spiral back to the bottom from the surface of the tide, and now it is not a confession I am choking on, but karenia brevis, bitter on my tongue. I am dragged beneath, hair tangling like red seaweed in the water, and it occurs to me that this has been destined all along.”
“I am stuck on a memory of filth, seeing the red bloom of karenia brevis on the Gulf Coast tides, but most likely, I never saw this anywhere but my own mind. Toxins have already choked the vitality from our cells, everything slowing down inside the lines of our skulls, our brains, biochemistry betraying us.”
“…walking in the street miles away from home, bougainvillea ripped out from Brigid’s shoulder blades, broke the skin with sharp red-tipped thorns.
The branches twisted around her until she found her voice, breaking an unintentional vow of silence. Her confession was hidden inside the stories she told to wide-eyed children in the street, stories about parents who were carried away on a northern wind and never returned to the small child left behind.