Friday, 24 October 2014

slow fall

I’m wondering.  I’m wandering.   I’m kicking through autumn leaves, each one some shade of gold, each one of a kind.  In this city tall slim trees undress to drop such pleasant waste, gifts to clog the gutters, litter the street.  The locals couldn’t care less.  I could.  Each pile I scatter by foot, each one is a treat.  I kick a golden bank, a quick flume and soggy landing, again and again. 

It’s cold here, I like it.  My socks are wet because my shoes are soaked; it’s safe to assume they smell awful.  They’ll dry.  I pour hot coffee breath into chill hands, I stand in crowds, I stare at signs I don’t understand and connect with the disconnect of a city who’s tongue I can’t wrangle.  I don’t speak a word here.  I’ll learn maybe, I’ll try to learn. 

The birds know me, they see me.  I could do without these birds.  I’ve dealt with plenty of pidgins in my time, but this lot, they stare.  They circle and they stare, unabashed, I think they want my eyes.  Birds all over the place today, milling about like punchy drunks at a bus stop, I cross the street but they see me, they always see me.  It’s ok.  I chew my cheek, breath hard through my nose and make quiet promises.  I tell myself a secret, I ball my fists and stuff them in my pockets and keep walking.  I send my soaking right shoe through a thick stack of leaves, I’m a millionaire.  I wonder what’s over the rise.  I keep walking. 

Last night I slept alone.  This morning  some ghost made my coffee, hot and bland to share with a cheese sandwich.  I made the bed, I brushed my teeth and left my room for a dishwater sky and air thin enough to slip through knitting.  It’s 11:28 now and I’m running out of time to say good morning to someone.  I need to learn good morning.  Tomorrow, maybe tomorrow.

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