A magic marker that leaves black smudges on the index finger. A cat just in from the back patio, her eyes wide, a leaf in her mouth. An idea, a slug on a plate left outside, a slime, a slowly devoured particle once inhabiting the nucleus of a cell that has burst with age. This is not even an apple. Or a pipe. Or a man descending from the cloudless sky, holding an open umbrella over his head, a god almost late for his next manifestation, where the trolleys have stopped running, where soot settles from factory chimneys and counterfeit tears streak a prostitute’s face. This is not me or you or the hubcap that popped off a rear wheel in the approach to Teatown Reservation, clattering against an ancient rock. Wobbling to a halt. What this is hums like a song, falls silent after the blare of the test siren at the nuclear plant. Not the cry of immigrants at a dock, their children taken away, a foreign language scrawled on their papers, no one anyone, everyone waiting.
John Allman | Event Horizon Contents | Mudlark No. 48 (2012)