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Breathing the right air

Nothing brings more comfort than a bag of good things to cook, swinging under your arm as you make your way home. Somehow it blots out the rest of the world. In these moments, the entire universe consists of a late afternoon sun, a stray dog and a clump of flowers growing strange and wild in a yard. A hit of basil jumps from my elbows with each swing of the bag, a gift from one of the ladies I buy from the most. I visit markets without intention, just eyes open ready to discover fresh peas, or the first corn. Knowing that these products will disappear as quickly as they present themselves creates a certain form of excitement. Each season offers up this rhythm and without it I might become completely lost.

I think of when we were in Tuscany a month ago, feeling like such a tourist until I wandered out along the highway and found the local vegetable stand. I shoved squash blossoms and tiny tomatoes into a bag, rushing back to our room like I had robbed a bank. I made pasta with them th…

the dark

There is a smell in the dark wet street, of onions and cabbage and spoiled meat. It has a hot, steamy feel to it like school lunch. I shove my hands deeper into my pockets, walking faster towards home.
A shadow runs along the sidewalk next to me, dancing around the puddles. I look back once, and see that no one is there. 

Just me and the streetlights.

The neighbor is in the hallway in his socks. He wears a shirt with a rainbow across the middle, the kind a seven year old boy would have. He is polishing his boots on the windowsill, looking out into the darkness.

Inside, I pull my wet shoes off. The christmas lights are dancing on our little tree, and there is that messy angel on top made by an orphan. 





Comments

liv said…
So many times you've taken us to this hallway - I feel I know it. Bad lighting, funny smell, a wee bit damp with an odd odor...am I right?

The first part of this reminds me of that Bob Dylan photo - NY city, hands stuffed into pocks, cold and windy. But it's you...the Bob Dylan of Moscow.
This is good work! I have a couple of questions: (1) Why did you choose not to place a comma between dark and wet at the beginning of the first sentence? Why not treat "dark wet" as a compound adjective? (2) Why did you choose not to treat "seven year old" as a compound adjective by placing a hyphen between each word?

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