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Styx
9

Rooster is driving along a Nevada highway into a setting sun.
 1
I'm sitting in the back watching the world go by
 2
high as an elliptical satellite.
 3
Eva is applying lipstick in the sun visor mirror
 4
looking as beautiful and self-satisfied as ever,
 5
urging Rooster to please slow down.
 6
"I decide my own limits," he says.
 7
"Well, your individuality's gonna get us all killed,"
 8
Eva says, smacking her lips together.
 9
"Or set us free," I whisper.
 10
 
 
We turn onto a dirt road
 11
and wind and climb through Bristlecone pines
 12
to a parking lot overlooking a river.
 13
I get out of the car and focus on a dark patch of water
 14
churning against the yellow wall of the canyon.
 15
She was dragged down by the undertow in 1996,
 16
her lifeless body carried six miles downstream.
 17
"Why do you search for the living among the dead?"
 18
a voice asks when I reach the edge of the water.
 19
"She is not here."
 20
"Take me with you," I plead,
 21
but there is only the quiet rushing of the Amargosa.
 22
 
 
I stare into the nothingness,
 23
listening to the silence of her death
 24
until the last stars fade in the morning light.
 25
I swim out to the watery grave, dive to the bottom
 26
and stay there as long as I can -
 27
teetering between worlds
 28
with a single breath.
 29

8 Dec 13

Rated 10 (9.8) by 3 users.
Active (3): 10, 10, 10
Inactive (7): 7, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10

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Comments:

loved the title and the opening immediately...
and 2-3, love that.
i nodded with L8. i say stuff like that all the time. but i usually say "God, just go ahead and let me crash, please."
i want to be with you in the last stanza... it's beautiful.

L21.. is that about treena?
 — mandolyn

^ ooops i mean L10, i nodded with... not L8
 — mandolyn

ok, i re-read this a few times and now i see you are speaking of the girl in L17... when i first read it, i was thinking you were talking about eva.
19-23 is wonderful. now it's all a bright light to me. :)
 — mandolyn

Epic thought provoking and vividly portrayed
 — larrylark

i was listening to esmerelda by ben howard just a bit ago and thought of this poem :)
 — mandolyn

Thanks mandolyn. Yes, this is a bit confusing.
Mystical and meandering and maybe even myopic.
Anyway, lots of M words are needed to describe it. :P
Okay I will listen to it too.

Thanks Larry vivid thinker Lark
 — 9

Who is "she" in L17?  Eva?  Eva's ghost?  Someone else?  Not sure.  Otherwise, I like the story, the characters and the fresh water locale.  Just not too certain about who "she" is.  
 — starr

if you read this slowly, you will understand it. we don't know who the girl is in L17 but that is the girl whom 9 has come looking for, even though she is gone. he knows she is gone but wants to wade in the memory of her death. i love this. i love it the more i read it.

9, i think if you were to make a line break after L16, starte a new paragraph that might help. those last two lines, i live in daily... and i just want to fall one way.
 — mandolyn

p.s. i love adjectives with M, there are some goodies out there. and this is meritorious. :-D
 — mandolyn

Ahhhh!  Got'cha, Mandee!  Thanks!  I'm sorry, 9!  I kinda THOUGHT THAT, but then I wasn't sure.  It's GORGEOUS writing and if I had written it, I would have been on my 109th revision by now!  LOL!  Love u BOTH!!!!  xo!
 — starr

<3 mandolyn
<3 starr
 — 9

heartbreaking, heavy and well-rendered.
 — JKWeb

paradise theater
 — unknown

Thank you Web :)
 — 9

Awesome! Last two lines are a perfect ending.
 — dannyprice

I'm not feeling the last 2 lines - the two preceding lines already infer the last 2, and the repeated sentiment overall feels like it lessens the impact of l28 & l29. They are also too insubstantial for the rest of this, and the way you write. You infer the insubstantial, you don't write the insubstantial.

The second stanza feels like there are too many stories jostling to be told at once, like you were in such a hurry to get the narrative out that the careful, deliberate pace with which you usually write was sacrificed. L14 to l16 in particular feel disjointed.

I don't think l20 is necessary. I'm also not keen on "from where you came" in l21, it just feels too theatrical to me, unlike your usual plethora of wry understated dialogue.

L24 to l28 are amazeballs.
 — wendz

Thanks danny :)

wendz, I appreciate your careful insight into my missteps.
I agree with most everything you said,
just not sure how to fix it. Thank you for reading and critiquing.
I will work on it.
 — 9

I was thinking about this late yesterday afternoon, and it seems to me that this might be written from a very deeply personal place. All of your others that I've read, the persona recounts from a bit of a distance, but this one, s/he becomes part of the narrative itself.

Although this is not your smoothest in the technical sense, I feel that this is your feelingest, and lets use see more of the writer than your others.

Removing the "from where you came" has helped this tremendously. L18 to the end connects on such a deeply personal and universal level - who has not loved, lost, and desperately wanted to go back there?

As usual, I think that your writing is the bees' knees.
 — wendz

sad, but extrmely prose-y.  
 — unknown

Love this. Love the last moment, that image encompasses a lot. This is great.
 — sunhands

Thanks wendz.
Thanks sun free spirit hands.
 — 9

off topic-
i'm still trying to figure out who the other 8 are. ;)
 — mandolyn

Just reread this, and loved it all over again.
 — dannyprice

This is lovely. Great imagery and ending. Especially like line three.
 — alpacas1

Haunting, with gorgeous imagery. Well done.
 — alpacas1

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thank you dp and alpaca
 — 9

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