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every other man

The light outside the main entrance to our building has gone out again. The heavy metal door swings wide as I pull a hat down over my ears. In the darkness there are maybe twenty teenagers standing still. My boot scrapes across the ground, slowing down. Their hands in pockets, shoulders hunched, I look for a space to pass between them. A voice appears, saying hello in English, with an obvious accent. I am all instinct, sayingpivyet as I pass, not looking back, wondering who said this. There was a boy that was an extra in Blackbetty that lives in our building, but he is too young, too short for it to have been him.

I look back, navigating the puddles in the street. It does not make any sense.

N is with V, making their way home. I meet them, pulling V into my arms as she chatters about her day, about dry leaves and princesses, about her grandmother's apartment and what she ate there. We are going back home, and I try to explain the odd collection that stands outside. As we pass th…

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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