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April 2014, vol 10, no 1

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Roger Jones

Galveston, Summer 2010


We’ve checked out of our hotel. I’m on my way to the car with one last suitcase when a sea gull out of nowhere swoops in front of me, arcs upward, and smacks full-speed the concrete overhead crossbeam of the hotel’s front awning. Its impact makes a dry crunch, like a ball of husks. It lands a yard or so in front of me. Maybe a foot twitches once or twice, but there’s no doubt: dead as iron.

Across the seawall, the white noise of the Gulf is steady.

It’s the summer of the year my parents died a month apart from one another. In my mind, a split-second montage of the dead – parents, friends, relatives, creatures – flashes past. I feel an inward wave of grief for the never-ending cycle. But there’s little time to react. Almost at once, a concierge is on the scene with broom and white plastic bag to sweep up the specimen and make the driveway clean again, new guests soon to arrive.

umbrellas
along the beach
a row of empty chairs




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