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streetlights

There is no easy way to say it. I was married to someone I hid from. Tucking E into a sling, I would disappear for hours saying I was going shopping for dinner, and if she fell asleep the excuse was that she needed fresh air as I sat on a park bench with her tiny hand grabbing my pinky until she eventually woke up. I would make my way along the side streets of Greenwich as the sun went down, leaning into store windows but not going in. Eventually I would go home, and as I turned the corner there was a security light that would switch on - obviously attached to some motion sensor. In those strange and lonely moments, I would talk to that light. Each time it clicked on, I felt somehow that the night ahead could be survived no matter what madness waited for us behind the front door.

That was twelve years ago.

Another life, another country.

Today, I turned a corner in Moscow with an all-too familiar bag of groceries swinging from my shoulder. A street light flickered on and all at once I…

from plastic cups

I’ve been drinking with the guards again, from plastic cups. There were tiny blue plums from their summer house, soft and mealy. There were meat pies and cucumbers, arranged carefully on paper plates.

I take a long walk home in the dark, across a river. A warm wind begins to blow.

It’s been an impossible few weeks. Living on the rubles in my pocket, staring at the full moon. A plant is dying in my office. I talk to it every day, as more leaves fall quietly to the windowsill.

Winter is coming already. I can feel the warm wet windows, and the pale grey sidewalk. I can see the first snow coming one night. Just a light dusting. Not enough to sled in, or roll into a snowman.

That will come later, after New Year’s Eve.

Comments

brenda said…
my god. m. so poignant and hauntingly beautiful and alive, these meditations on aloneness and love for a child and the coming snows. i've missed you. and am so so sorry it took me so long to catch up. tough times, here, too. which makes for too small and selfish a world. don't stop. i love reading you.

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