A woman came running around the corner with an empty stroller and parked it
right in the fall zone of a second story barred window, as if she expected her baby to
come crashing through, breaking bars and glass and drapes, and land perfectly safe
and sound into the cushions.
When no such baby arrived, she turned around and left slowly the way she came.
Some Things I Saw While Picking Up My Wife from Therapy
1. A Sunday morning lawyer's office painted matte black with two signs: One an
otherwise professional-looking plastic sign advertising for divorce, and the
other a neon tube in the shape of a broken heart, which I thought was in poor
2. A spot of lingering fog on the passenger window where her breath had
condensed, and a smudge where her temple rested.
3. A truck advertising the world's longest basmati rice.
4. A game I'm playing on my phone where there are a million little dots that
swirl around each other in great clouds and swarms, and with your finger
you swipe a wind current to carry them home.
5. I swipe, and two clouds combine and form a pattern that my brainstem
announces is venomous. A primary-on-primary clash of a hundred staring
eyes, a lotus seed head.
6. My own breath, now heavier, condensing in the air at the sudden emergent
7. The pattern disappearing as the dots go home, and my breath normalizing.
8. My wife opening the door, leaning her head against that smudge on the
window so that her breath re-animates the foggy spot that had almost
9. That same truck advertising the world's longest basmati rice as we pull up
behind it at a light.
Day for Night
He's awake again, and the apartment with barely any furniture is plated in silver. He
navigates his way to the sink and takes water, and the phlegm in the back of his
throat recedes, but only briefly, and then it comes back and he chokes on it, and he's
stuck there in that space between the back of his tongue and the top of his throat.
Through the crack in the door, he sees her lying on her back with the old thin dog
curled up in the cradle between her knees. He thinks about how directors
sometimes shoot scenes day for night with a blue filter over the lens, even though
the world is silver at night but somebody, somewhere, decided blue and so now blue
He goes into the bathroom and the laminate is cold through his socks. The edge of
the counter helps him to sit down on the toilet and helps him to stand back up again
when he's done.
On the wall there's a painting called Harvesting Marsh Grass
, which they bought
together I don't know how long ago. It's not a painting of people harvesting marsh
grass, but a painting of the words harvesting marsh grass
on an otherwise blank
canvass, insisting certain realities present or otherwise.
Shutting off the light and he's blind in the black. He feels his way back to the bed
and the dog yelps as he lies down on her paw.