Kristin Kelly
Sea to Sea, Shining
They are giving birth control to squirrels in Santa Monica, the homeless capital of the world. The 
world's tallest man puts his world's tallest arms in the throats of two dolphins and pulls.

A girl sits in her living room for five weeks with hiccups. News reporters, talk show hosts, 
cameramen. She stops. They stop. Then she starts up again.

I am driving across the Mississippi on a bridge the color of old denim. It's early, the sun is 
barely, fog lights are on. All but one.

When Picasso was asked to illustrate a fairy tale, he drew a man with a buffalo's head and a 
buffalo's body. I knew he was a man because of the way he wanted to eat her, but couldn't.

Someone is dead, so is her son, and no one can decide where to bury her. I watch the footage on 
tv. Everyone is crying--boyfriend, hairdresser, even the judge.

On the science segment of a radio broadcast, I learn that time-travel has more to do with loss 
than math. A man loses his father. We aren't supposed to count backwards.

Last night I stood in the park a tornado clipped a year ago. It felt empty. My raincoat against 
your arm, people around us like buildings. Others like cities, rising up.

On the front page of the local paper, award-winning cheerleaders. From afar they look like a 
forest on fire or soldiers piled up, the ones on top with their hands in the air.

Pictures are there to remember when we were more than ourselves. In black in white, two 
children are sad, perfect statues. In color, they're just kids with a fire hydrant between them.

A man told a woman in a book I just finished that if you bend two trees together and you still 
can't cross the river, you are being told something important.

I have learned this year that truckers are the strongest men alive. They carry everything across, 
especially at night. Once I kept so close to one he might has well have towed me.

They're interviewing a kid from Kansas who's started his own bumper sticker business. There are 
funny ones and some serious, like Papa's Pad when Mama's Mad and Pray Already.

A woman walks a little dog, looking down. A kid digs a hole for her doll, looking down. 
Hardhats dot the overpass, holding men.

At the World's Largest Truck Stop, one woman says to another woman, You have to undo it. 
They're stringing tinsel on a pile of tires. It will feel good, she says, when it's undone.

On the bad days, accidents are mile markers. Here, a car like a letter someone crumpled in anger, 
then burned, just to be sure.

A truck, I heard somewhere, can weigh as much as ten elephants. A flatbed pulls a house over a 
bridge. I've never seen a stampede before.

Ginny, a hospice nurse, says that you can tell in the eyes, when it's time. Think of it, she says, 
like cargo. We carry it this far, then we unload it.

My father keeps a blue, never-used, two-person kayak in his basement that his closest friends 
bought him for his fiftieth. Every time I go home, I look at it.

I think about how he must have imagined it. Early morning, the boat light on his shoulders. He 
lays it on the dock, careful, the tip into the water, he wavers in after, has to rest for a minute, 
steady his self. Then he begins the paddling out.
Found In Volume 37, No. 05
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  • kristin kelly
Kristin Kelly
About the Author

Kristin Kelly was born in Kansas City. She has been the recipient of a Walter and Nancy Kidd Prize from the University of Oregon and a Maytag Fellowship from the Iowa Writers Workshop. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she owns a women's boutique, Ode.