Billy Renkl Illustration

Nature Abhors a Vacuum

In South Carolina I found my way back to myself. All it took was the ant swarm on a glittering chain-link fence, thousands of new wings glinting like silver in the sun. An escaped hawk trailing its zoo leash, joyfully killing pigeons on the state capitol steps. The heart-tripping sight of a brown water snake coiled in a tree in the Congaree Swamp. The sulfurous scent of a dogwood tree outside my window split in half by a lightning bolt. The whinny of a screech owl in the dark. The taste of fresh figs.