CONJUNCTIONS: A Web Exclusive
Fog Life
Michael Bergstein



Upstairs, Vidalia shut off the lights, opened a window and sat on the edge of her bed, smelling the ocean. One, two, three, four … strung in a seaward-running necklace each foghorn sounded progressively more distant, a warning that here an island lay. She remembered foggy nights when, as a girl, she’d tied the end of her kite string to the porch rail and unrolled the spindle as she walked down to the beach. To find her way back. But tonight only a slatternly line of thrumcaps barked diminishing hints. Vidalia’s course through the obscure and pungent was marked by nothing but blind need, though this too was interlinked with sky and tongue, moon and island, stork, city, and ship.

      All matter is our cousins.

      The universe is only shredded by men, she thought. Compartment makers. Women take in the whole, expand, grow, and revive. That was it. No radar was needed. A kiss convinced her of that. Then the crepe de chine hour parted its wings and Vidalia slid between them. Drowsiness took her gently, not an escape but a surrender, and as the last nibbles of consciousness left her she put her fingers on her tummy, felt the simulation of foreign flesh and spidered downward. Without a car or boat moving, with Long Island asleep and stunned under a republic of fog, Vidalia Bull found a willing pearl and applied what digitation as miracles demand. Her song was heard by no one. One, two, three, four … the warning horns cried like whales.