Salt Slick by Verity Sayles


Through the window of a Seattle-bound train, the western Oregon light cracks gold against the worn leather seats. I’m heading north to the rainsoaked sound, to briny underdocks, salt-slick oilrigs, the reassuring lungdeep smell of lowtide. In these six hours suspended, hung from the tracks, I worry I’ve romanticized you in distance. I count down miles with wine in plastic cups. When you pick me up, we’ll go to a dark bar, suck oysters from their shells, talk of summer like it was years ago.


Verity Sayles is an essayist from central Massachusetts. She writes and teaches in Oregon, where she is an MFA candidate in nonfiction at Oregon State University. She can be reached at or @saylesteam.

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