from The Depression 

The house made of salt was here before the founders arrived & it was so nice that they made it the mayor’s mansion. After each storm the mayor gets his ladder out & fixes the rivulets rain cuts in the roof. All day on the beach we townspeople rake salt into neat piles & let the sun dry it. Most of the salt goes to the mayor, but some we get to keep & each night we eat spoonfuls of salt before we lie down on our cots & sleep. I was born here & I doubt I’ll ever leave. There are dangers beyond the borders that I’ve read about in books. From the roof of the mayor’s mansion one can see the salt prisons & salt barracks, each full of soldiers & criminals. Sometimes a child will leave town & when they return they are plump to bursting with a sick pink to their cheeks, limbs overgrown with vines. A community is an emptiness. It’s where the salt piles. Where there is nothing so small that can live.
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