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The streets are wide and empty in the morning. I arrive at Geary and Hyde, but the shop is closed. So I walk a little further and turn right at the next block. A wiry, balding man in jeans and a t shirt passes by me. He holds the hand of a striking transvestite who seems considerably less excited about whatever their destination is. I turn two more corners and I’m back to Geary, but still, the shop is closed. I decide to repeat my prior detour. On the adjacent block, I see the man again, except this time, he is without his passenger. Our eyes crash, like two beat up old cars that were ready to die out anyways.
The lights and the lines have lost their independence. They are less acute, these days, and connect more readily. Shapes do not resist the loss of definition that awaits them in the distance. Colors meet and merge, moving backward toward the vacuous core of a fractal with breathtaking cadence. The noise that this world produces is too articulate and unpredictable to concur with what I see when I’m walking home crying.
I slept with a rosary under my pillow last night, cried myself to sleep, hoping that my feigned martyrdom would catch the eye of some sleepy god. I don’t know how to pray…it seems like a trick question. Yes, there are words that I could whisper, but there’s no escaping the hideous subtext, a venomous snake camouflaged in the leafy rows of language.
If there was any continuity to it, maybe I could sleep, but the sounds come in spasms, eruptions I’m unable to file down to white noise. So I try to love the noise, embrace it, realizing how the edgy aversion to it only contributes to the insomnia. I concentrate on the buzzing that connects crash to crash, determined to memorize those moments just before. But when I have finally found a scarce field of pattern where I can rest, a dynamic pang; brilliant considering that nothing like it has been or will be heard again, cuts through the night air with chilling precision.
“What happened?” she asks, pointing to the ambulance on the corner of Eddy and Polk. I can’t help but to just stare at her, wondering why her words are so lovely, elegantly dressed with silvery voice and floating between us like a veil. “I…” I begin, but quickly realize the momentous pressure. My words are a pack of bloodhounds waiting rashly for an open gate.
Lane FalconLane Falcon is a poet who lives in New York. Her work can be found at Sundress and Pebblelake Review. She loves everyone.
All material copyright the authors, printed with permission.
KULTURBREMSE TERMINKALENDER - calendar of Chicago events for the culturally restless - updated weekdays.
Absence by Lola Huston
Crappy Apartments (excerpts from the novel El Cumpleanos De Paco) by Mickey Hess
A Piece of Her (A True Story) by Nicole Brussard
Squin(t): A Love Poem by Morris Stegosaurus
Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on I am not too sure.