We Know These Facts to Be True, by Sara Ryan
what I forgot to say was that I never gave it
a chance. that I let myself get so alone I couldn’t
imagine anything else. it was too late for hope. too
late to remember the touch I dreamt of. the dreams
became everything. every hair lifting from my arms.
every shiver along my skin. what I meant to say
is that I never meant it—I lied about wanting
to find something in the quiet. and then Texas opened
up and swallowed me whole. I got lost in a canyon
and could only hear my echo. rock sliced into slivers
of ochre and rust. walls grew higher around me as
I ventured deeper into the earth’s incision. I never
did enough for the strawberry moon. I never listened
for the rogue coyote running through cotton.
instead, I crystallized in my living room. I became
what I never wished for: a river in the desert, drying
into a trickle of blue.
Sara Ryan is the author of I Thought There Would Be More Wolves (University of Alaska Press), as well as the chapbooks Never Leave the Foot of an Animal Unskinned (Porkbelly Press) and Excellent Evidence of Human Activity (The Cupboard Pamphlet). In 2018, she won Grist's Pro Forma Contest and Cutbank's Big Sky, Small Prose Contest. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Diode, Brevity, Kenyon Review, DIAGRAM, Thrush, and others. She is currently a PhD candidate at Texas Tech University.