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  You could have a big dipper   

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.

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