LETTER FROM NEBRASKA

THERE HASN’T BEEN A SUMMER LIKE THIS SINCE BEFORE THE WAR,

SO I’M TOLD. FLASH LIGHTNING FROM A CLEAR SKY WHEN EVERYONE

IS OUTSIDE. THE ANIMALS HAVE BEEN MULTIPLYING AT NIGHT.

THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH TO EAT. FORTY OR FIFTY MURDERS EVERY DAY,

AND GOD KNOWS HOW MUCH VIOLENCE PASSES FOR DISCIPLINE

BEHIND TORTURED WALLS. CHILDREN GO AROUND CLENCHING THEIR

FISTS AND STARING DOWN AT THEIR SHOES BEFORE THEY KNOW HOW

TO READ. THERE HAVE BEEN DROWNINGS. SOMEHOW WE HAVE

FORGOTTEN HOW TO SWIM. IT CAN NO LONGER BE TAUGHT. THE WATER IS

DANGEROUS. PEOPLE ARE AFRAID TO WATER THEIR LAWNS, THE BRIDGES

ARE UNUSED. IT NEVER RAINS. THE SUN IS LOSING ITS YELLOW AND THE

CLOUDS ARE CURLING UP AT THE EDGES. THE RADIO PLAYS TWENTY-YEAR-OLD SONGS

TWENTY-FOUR HOURS A DAY. I HAVEN’T SAID A WORD

SINCE APRIL.

 

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