The Drowning Gull 1 - Page 16

State Line

by Carol Lynne Knight

The exit signs read Pensacola Bay. At Dairy Queen, the server creates a tower of vanilla that cants to the right — waiting for my tongue to even out its creamy architecture. Driving one handed, cone finished, napkins tossed. Still sticky, but caught in momentum — I lick my fingers clean in Alabama.

Crossing the Mississippi-Louisiana line: under I-10, the Pearl River is a brown slither through green marshes quilting the landscape for miles. I imagine traveling the bridge to Malmö, lost in the inept conversation of Saga Norén, the Swedish detective, as she struggles to read my face. But, I have not flown to Denmark, only added a Swedish accent to my inner dialogue. Like driving over the state line, discontent is marked with signs, but invisible from the sky.

The Drowning Gull

15