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Indianola, Abby Leigh Mangel

I skipped rocks on the still and silent water,

Hushed by two hurricanes, a fire, and God’s indifference.

On that winter day, no happy souls combed the beach;

— Only my heart, lifeless as the sand beneath another ghost town.

The waves of the ocean, its gentle undulations after a strong blow,

Would have reflected in your eyes, constantly shifting in color:

The bluest of the shallow lagoons, the greenest of the prairie grasses,

And the gray of a double-barreled gun.

Here I would make a willow cabin at your gate,

But a long belt of fire burned through the plain;

Eviscerating the shores of the bay, swallowing the cattle dotting the horizon,

Sparing nothing under the red glare of the moon.

The winter starlight shone through the clouds above me

As I threw my stones into the cold gulf,

Watching the agitated ripples dissolve and wondering;

— What if you stayed?


Abby Leigh Mangel is a PhD Fellow at the University of Texas in San Antonio.

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