September 2, 2014

“Everything went wrong after the oil slick. Choppy black waves washed onto the shores, bringing with them clotted sediment and bloated dolphin carcasses. Half-drowned bodies vomited up petrol. Ducks were wrung out directly into car engines. Someone brought soap and bleach to the beaches but was only able to clean a square foot. Many of us tried cleaning the spill by dipping paper towels into the darkness. The paper absorbed a few tablespoons of oil, then dripped it back into the water. When we drank water, we drank the black. At first, our lips tingled from ingesting so much oil. Our smiles were gray. Our tongues were even darker. Over time, we began preferring the oily water to the clean water of our past. At least there was flavor. And clean mouths were overrated.”

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