My mother always wanted to live near the water,” she said. “She said it’s the one thing that brings us all together. That I can have my toe in the ocean off the coast of Maine, and a girl my age can have her toe in the ocean off the coast of Africa, and we would be touching. On opposite sides of the world.

A brand-new thought: Transatlantic airmail. She tests the phrase, scratching it out on the paper, over and over, transatlantic, trans atlas, trans antic. The distance finally broken.

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