January’s Ashen Afternoons

Hard edged and glass cold the weather covered for 12 o’clock while it sneaked up on us. Someone rolled around in tidal sleep and moaned like a sea creature.

They spoke while I put my legs up to steal the warmth off the window grills; someone played the sunlight off their watch – “CUT IT OUT”. My brain seemed to melt, who was that and didn’t I have an exam to get to? The agony of waiting I thought while looking at my watch; productivity had to wait till tomorrow. Some weather needs to be savored I think while miming swishing wine around. I thought of cake I ate back in 9th grade. It was purple on an afternoon the smelt just like this.

Doors slam. An engine is kicked to life. Tires squeal. I imagine a scooter, speeding into darkness. I returns to the ingenuity of plants, to the magic of light but someone’s voice grew irate. “I grow green horn on my back. It’s all keratin so I’ll need you’re nail-cutter”. I tell her it’s in the bathroom. Was there really a black and white photo of a bespectacled man and a copy of Anna Karenina in there? Sometimes you imagine these things.

A chair falls over, Beach House blasts on an abandoned phone and I see a copy of cloud atlas under the couch. Someone kills a lamp and I remembered how a friend would print Chinese labels to put on glass bottles. “Adds character” he would say, “It’s the same shit but new, full of meaning probably.”

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Pocketwatch

My grandfather before me, like his grandfather before him had had the watch handed down to him. It was dull, old and heavy. The weight of our lives bore down on it and it threatened to drag us down any minute.

I was given the old watch and saw that it was counting down to something. They told me it would showed all the time I had in the world. I wore the weighted chain well, keeping it polished and stalling the fade of its metal case. I had never feared and waited till it stopped. Through the years I had acquired many memories and had nothing to regret. Eventually I had nothing to do but wait till it stopped, happy to meet my end.

Then it stopped and nothing happened. For the first time in my life I knew fear.

Merely Human

 

I see the morning fog and know I breathe it,

I hear the nesting parakeet and know I’ve seen it,

After the dew runs down the warmth of my hand,

When the black gate reminds me of the taste of metal,

I remember,

that I am morning

 

 

 

I see the orange tinge of city night, knowing darkness

While people fan themselves, the heat of the night air

When I smell the yearning in the cities cauldron

My soul the fish under the unbroken surface

never a tranquil moment

I know,

I am not merely human