Life begins again after three miles by Makenna Dykstra
Someone once told me that on a clear day,
when there’s no meteorological, topographic,
or anthropogenic interruptions, you can see
15 miles before the horizon dies. My first
thought was how fucking hard this planet makes
it to get anything done at all. My second thought
was of Pirates of the Caribbean. I wonder if
Jack Sparrow had perfect vision, if he could see all
the way to the world’s edge. If he knew how far
the water ran before it spilled. I wonder if he knew
the earth turned in circles around us, that the
map’s edge was mere fallacy. I mostly wonder if
he’d stop me in the middle of my stolen fun
fact, slurring his words and tipping dangerously
close to the ship’s edge, to tell me that I was
misinformed. 15 miles is a vast overestimate.
The horizon dies just under three miles from sight.
The earth has myriad strategies to warn humanity
against amassing ungodly hubris. Fringing watery
consciousness in collapse makes about as much sense
as rupturing the skies with color each night to lure
the desperate sailor towards predestined romance.
But not even the heavens can keep their promise of three
miles. Jack Sparrow defied death and distance, sailing
out of Davy Jones’ locker on a ship floating on the
backs of earth-bound crabs. I imagine the horizon
extended itself a mile that afternoon for Jack, a
displacement of physics gifted only to the most
audacious among us. However drunk on rum and
salt spray we find ourselves, perception remains finite.
Therefore, imagination must as well. Three miles from sight
–– if one is so lucky as to have an unintruded upon view ––
originality dies. That is, if it was ever borne at all.
All there’s left to talk about is the drunk pirate on
my television and his reclaimed Black Pearl,
forever renewing three miles three miles three miles.
Makenna Dykstra (she/her) is twenty years old and currently an undergraduate student at Tulane University in New Orleans. This fall, she will be pursuing an MA in English Literature also at Tulane. She can most often be found in the local parks, writing, reading, or admiring the oak trees, though tonight she will be making lasagna.