Next Stop

While you’re reading this people are doing things like buying eggs and painting away childhood sexual abuse. Someone somewhere just kissed a child they made, half of them, the other half beside because not all stories have to be sad just because we don’t know how ours will end.

There are gnats crawling up a poet’s pants: intrepid explorers who take denim for tree bark. He composes couplets of green, many-legged beings who will never read Shakespeare but who can fly. The gnats are crawling over the pages, looking for food, not finding it.

If you stopped thinking for a year, would you lose the ability?

This one isn’t part of the story: go and free yourself on a pier, in a fluid medium, with friends, alone, set a few in a row and make something before you have to go.

The woman screaming into her phone across from you on the bus couldn’t make a sound when it happened to her, no matter how hard she bit the man’s hand.

If you don’t want to wear clothes or wait in lines or touch cards to sensors or board the train that will be arriving in approximately four (4) minutes, you don’t have to.

You care more than you think.

One of the gnats was squished between the pages and became a man. The woman on the bus will bite every partner she has from now on, even if she doesn’t want to. There’s one who builds a lude pile on her son’s CCD homework. She’s covering up excommunication and Eucharist with bottles prescribed by another one, born with a cleft lip in a Soviet satellite; always asked to smile on the playground, never doing so. He’ll read the gnatted pages once they’re published, wonder if he’s done anything more than flatten pages on many-legged addicts. There’s a child who dreams of becoming a tree, reads of Yggdrasil, practices in the park when M & D are playing dogpile, sprouts branches from fingertips and roots from toes by will alone.

Life can be hands grasping in the dark, hundreds of them, only ever grazing.

There’s a grandmother who hasn’t eaten in a week, who feeds her grandchildren stories and laughter, steals canned foods when she can. Her eyes are milky, light haloing around the center. She can only really see when looking askew.

Sometimes people need to read lies to know the truth.

Moonlight hits flesh in places where lips meet and flies don’t fly and the water’s sweet and cool. A descendant of Genghis Khan is kissing a relation of Cleopatra. Phones buzzing in pockets: an invitation to a party and a drunk text from a parent. The woman on the bus is standing. She is removing her shoes, the laces from them. Setting socks on grip-ridged floor. Taking off her pants.

Look outside and see your environment: its color and variation.

Her shirt now, sliding off. The bus has stopped.

Flow will come to you if you allow it.

The boy’s leaves have withered, roots dried out. M & D are done playing dogpile. Time to go inside. The eggs have been bought. Paint too. P’an Ku’s waiting on canvas to give birth to the universe, in gamboge heat playing with cerulean hues, brush swipes so fast not even the memories can keep up. The woman is laughing, maybe crying. The doctor’s hiding a cleft lip that’s no longer there, behind teeth, a nervous tic. He picks up loose articles and hands them to her. She’s accusing him, grabbing his hand, searching for tooth-shaped scars, not finding them. Grabbing the hand of the man next to him, the woman in back, the driver. She’s pulling the book from the doctor’s hands, tearing pages from it as the poet sits in the back and watches his leaves fall. Back and forth, a teeter-totter, the child’s halves on either side, applying weight and removing it to bring kid skybound and back down. The bus across from the park is stopped. A woman’s coming out. Cover his eyes, it’s nothing, just hide and seek. The grandmother is collecting a check, blessing her eyes for failing, walking the curb one step after another, eyes closed, a tightrope walker. Her grandchildren follow. The bus has started to move.



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