Bright white metal, grainy smooth light that flits down like helicopter seeds. Everybody inside their homes, talking with the sound off. Walking yourself home down the warm street when nobody else knows. A purplish stomach inside you, lightening with unease. It’s making you so angry that you can’t describe it just right.
Let the city unveil itself to you, the suitor. A rusting synth plays seventh chords that coat your dusty eyes as you walk. Inhale the richness around you, the deepening of humors, until the nighttime clouds sag and barely brush your head of hair.
And in an instant, let yourself be reversed as your experience resolves to singularity. Feel the dryness and cleanliness of the road. Feel weaker. A tough dark man holds you upright until he doesn’t. No sharp rocks to provoke your backside; there are only the smooth and sultry voices of crickets and cicadas in their treehouses. Cheering screeching baritones are fluted across the city like rains and sands, dropping dead on those awake. They engage a cotton-mouthed driver seething under shallow red light. The city in heat may seem noiseless. But when noticed, the insect tones find a way to creep into the mind, through the nose and breath. The driver’s hands are yellow from cigarettes.
Sure, you learned the sacrifices that this kind of love demands. You decided never again, but it’s apparently not up to you. You wondered then, and now I wonder how I’ll see it in 20 years.
The insect tones pollute and make impure the foreign fluid in the mouth of a non-identity youth, cooling on the low porch. A drained male shatters an ice tray into the sink to soak his skin. He ungratefully internalizes this as self-soothing. In the horizon, hear the thunder of game, hooves pounding the city into a kaleidoscopic habitat. It’s one for festivities, so note the ivory trumpets sounding off.
They’ll call you that, not knowing what it suggests, and forget soon that they ever said it. Inhale and clear your throat.
Come face-to-face— let yourself —with the shifting and course-correction of silences. The colours and moods of the soundlessness flutter, though its physical intensity is unchanging. Why, then, does she feel such blaring discordance? The question, unanswered, dissolves. The surface of the asphalt sends purple sparks— a lilac — into your fresh brown soles, and up through your heart and tongue.
Looking through the fine wire mesh on the door, see his shirt on the floor, see a hand press the wall, watch them play pick-up ball. He lays upright in late midnight hours with glassy eyes to make sense of silver and darkening lilac. The road smells of vanilla and rubber; they think, “I haven’t been out this late since I was little.” Haven’t, since the kinship was minced. The newest and worst hormones on the cul-de-sac, tearing friends apart. Like that time you got your wheel stuck in a manhole cover and you fell and tore up the palms of your hands. Played ball bloody.
Let that night’s life trickle down like dream-physics into a want for cars and bloodied hands and long eyelashes.
I wish you could steal the view through their eyes.
Bare your dull full radiant face.
Photograph: Justin Wei