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Carolyn Oliver You Can Swallow Any Secret, but What Good Will It Do? THE NIGHT BEFORE the revolution exploded, four friends ate mussels, the last they’d taste for years. Rina found a pearl in hers, a drop of purple-blue balanced in the shallow bowl her tongue made. It wobbled, then disappeared. She coughed once and her skin began to glow, brighter and brighter until she outshone the only lamp in the room. The others pressed towels under the door, threw sheets over the windows. Someone called a doctor. Still Rina shone, the light concentrating, turning in on itself, magnifying as she shrank. “The horses are coming. Don’t turn your backs,” she said, in the same voice she’d used to explain how milk counteracts pepper spray, how to splint an arm. Plink: the light snapped shut and the pearl, just faintly luminescent now, fell to the floor. They buried it in a tin box with the papers and the weapons. After their horses trampled the three friends, the police dug up the box. The pearl dust glowed in their boot-prints until dawn. All the prisoners turned pilgrim, waiting their turns to experience the relics of the shining girl.

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Profile for Mojave River Media

Mojave River Review spring/summer 2019  

The Mojave River Review spring/summer 2019 issue spotlights superb poetry and prose by brilliant contributors from around the globe. Enjoy 2...

Mojave River Review spring/summer 2019  

The Mojave River Review spring/summer 2019 issue spotlights superb poetry and prose by brilliant contributors from around the globe. Enjoy 2...

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