The Dry Descent (redux)
He hears a cry—the lamentation of a dying man.
He turns, strains, to see.
Who? No one.
He staggers on scree and falls heavy on his back; his poles useless after two thousand miles.
The sky is a terminal blue.
The cry of a loon, disparate and distant, rises from the lake below.
His eyes fix on a turkey vulture above, gliding lazy, on a current of air.
His tongue cramps. His eyes rack out of focus.
Every dehydrated move turns to a paralyzed pose.
He thinks it’s doubtful someone will hike through before morning.
He waits unblinking.
“I cannot just swallow salt. Salt is heavier than a hundred bags of shame.”
— Edwidge Danticat / Krik Krak