Total abstinence

I reached for the bottle of wine and felt my spine crack. Grey mist drizzled across my vision. The bolus of mashed breadsticks in my mouth caked the back of my throat; I couldn’t swallow it. Through the grain I saw the beak of the broken gull, bloodied and shuddering. I heard bubbles of air being sucked through wounds. The gull bent the spar of its wings and lifted from the sand; black, blood-wet clumps hung or fell from the chicane of its body.

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