On a major thoroughfare between a porn theatre and a filling station, it was just past the central cemetery and the bridge over the railway lines. A young communist lived in the room across from yours. He worked in a hotel. You had no job and no prospects but, for the moment, didn’t care. You’d sit together at the brittle table in the kitchen, all dark browns and orange, smoking, and listening to cassettes of sixties pop tunes, with small cups of coffee, now and again a beer. You had a couple of books and some traveler’s checks. Day after day you’d wander the sunburnt city, surprised, over and over again, at how often you got lost.
A metaphor for darkness
A people seized the sun, somewhere
in Africa. They sprinkle it into the sea
& there, let it simmer into ordinary sizzles,
coiled with bones of broken men;
burnt men who, at first, refused to be boiled.
The sweat & the green tears of cuffed women,
at dawn, rise & roar into different images
not known to the purple sky above. It becomes
Niger & Nile. So it seems: the sun that left never left.
riley montana slaps the runway
behind the scene it is 30°C
the same temperature a body doesn’t need
to start decomposing—
the body sashays away in a blue blazer
catwalks to a stop in a dirndl
hundred irises of a palazzo
& when the body stops it stops only
to let the world have a view of itself through the bow-bridge of legs
let me remember you
we mold differently,
with phone calls we don’t want to end
what we don’t know how to do,
is walk away
i have known you
for introducing me to nature trails,
and each tickle of a touch
evokes the treks shared
if the kernel of
sound is quiver,
the ear shall l-
oose tether, &
knell itself in
of whether whether
*the ear is a kind of leaf
I awoke in a room in hell
not hot, not cold
alone, the only one here.
The devil Mediocre
stops by to explain
I can’t have visitors.
I feel no pain
no sun blistering
no torrential rain.
Hell is all things
From “The Little Light that Escaped”
But I remember.
The scent of sun and ash, a taste of resin, blame. Summers across slanting floors and smiles like sickles for thoughts of flight. Abandoned streets and a feeling of sinking. Makeshift holes not far from the sea; closer in, the cicadas’ hum the whirl straight up to twilight’s hem, brittle wings which brought no breeze while all the rest were busy drinking, swallowing the searing-eyed, searing-tongued prophets and seers, and jaundicing into the yellow silence of the years. The tonal monotony of the land.
Days passing, just out of the reach of the sun. Days passing, in a basement room, watching the arc of the sun through a small square of sky. Tides of no turning. Blocks of light mosaiced while the slow days tasted of mineral, copper, rust.