Before I Was a Savage

Kristin Abraham

He knew there would be problems, since this was the beginning, frontier.  But “it smelled like the end of something.”  Those were her words, once, before she was stolen.  And she was right, right and she knew it, proved it over and over:  stomped a lot of foot and tossed a lot of hair, smugged up her face like a cat with a mouthful of feathers and accused:  dead horse there, bloated dog here, rattler in the trough.  Misery comforts misery, he knew, and it expanded mostly in dust storms, the way the laudanum ran out before the next trip to town.  She missed the circus—new beginnings every two days—the way he threw knives while she spun on the wheel, sent her into memory.  She died differently then.  And yet, every time her foot planted—a new carcass, turkey vulture, worms in the meal—the questions were evident:  “What makes us so stitched together?”  “Why do my reasons pour out?”  The answers, he kept telling her, must be yet.




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