Sunday, July 31, 2011
Under a corrugated sky
It is Monday. Even the sun struggles to rise from its slumber, choosing to stay tucked tight in a blanket of haze. The snooze button only buys minutes though and the Earth's natural rotation yanks the covers from its face. In the city, it rises a rusted metal disc, its rays hard blade rays pushing heat onto our heads in still winds.
Suits march the sidewalks in lockstep, organized chaos as synchronized swimmers join the flow, then peal off into various buildings. Steel. Glass. Brick. There is a beauty in the various forms taken. Each occupational soldier, or prisoner, has some form of communication; a cell to their ear, a bud bedded, a pad fingered. Deals struck well before they enter the door, saving time for more. Each rehearses ascension to godhood, dreams planted by those that hold their strings.
Yellow taxi cabs weave between cars in quick accelerated leaps, the mass of metal moves in ripples, blood in arteries feeding muscles. Ba-dump, ba-dump, ba---dump. The heart beats in retarded expediency. The city is awake and groaning.
A metal bench gnaws at the back of my legs and glutes, the next meal served on its plate. A screw head tooth digs for marrow, keeping me awake. Bodies pressed into the small space of feigned comfort as they wait for the bus, suck sweat from my pores. Our combined smell, perfume on a wet and angry dog.
Across the chaos, a girl, maybe ten, smooth canvas over an awkward frame, bones dancing in skin, steps through a tenement door on a side street. She wears a pink tank and short denim shorts, pigtails braided, bob aside her head. She does not venture far from the door, periodically staring up at the window on the second floor.
She is different and holds my eyes, rapt. From her pocket she retrieves an object then bends at the waist, spins intentional across the sidewalk. Chalk, I see between scissoring legs and swinging briefcases. Her tongue slips the corner of her lip as she works. Oblivious to the world, silent comparative to the silhouettes that chase each other loudly through the shift covered window, she often returns her gaze to.
Hop. hop. hop. She disappears then turns. Hopscotch. I laugh to myself, cover my mouth with a hand and wonder who else might notice, yet keep it to myself rather than disturb the tentative bliss of mouths intent on selling their worth in text and airwaves. Rehearsing what has been achieved by one so insignificant, in the grand scheme of their things.
Time comes for us all and the rusted metal sun clanks on across her light blue sky.
written for The Tenth Daughter of Memory and Magpie Tales.