|Photograph: Neely Johnson|
There she was: her left foot stood on top of her right. The frayed ends of her red flannel shirt dusted the tops of her thighs as she watched the truck disappear among the dust clouds from the gravel driveway. The crackling rocks under the tires were a rumbling thunder that echoed in her stomach. As the sun finally peaked its core past the clouds and into her eyes, she squinted away the last bit of mica and salt.
She bent down to the ground, still on her right foot to grab a chunk of the broken driveway with her left hand. The gravel felt sharp and hot as she fingered for a rock as big as her fist.
Breaking her stork-like balance, she steps back with her left foot, winds up her arm and throws the mass with her entire past towards the evaporating bull’s eye amidst the lingering dust clouds; a fading abyss. All she heard was the distant crackling thunder from the worn tires; or was it her crackling pulse that was pounding into her ears?
Her throw threw her a couple of steps forward, right onto the outskirts of the cloud. Panting, she walks backwards into the dewy grass, her gaze following the silver truck as it disappears into the silver dust.
Her feet planted into the grass, drops of dew leaving her feet covered with glimmering sun. The quenched feeling underneath her bare feet creeps up her legs, pinches her pelvis, flips around her gut, squeezes her lungs, punches through her heart, and finally climbs up her throat as she exhales for the first time, “Goodbye."