Away from the glow, a dumb bulb freezes in its wintery malaise, covering the rest of the light. I don slippers and wait for the impact in all the right places: a notebook and photograph, a letter you once wrote. Of course we can climb backward into the pulp and pull all the questions from their sharpened hangers. I’m doing it already, see me, I’m pulling all the shredded lace down, quitting in the middle of the song.
A tick of blonde beaming wide, or return to a messier proof. You stymied in the river there just there just the same. No one comes measuring the granite. No one comes wading in. The sky is a rip in the seawall cut in two, hairline indisposed in sleep. I can almost see Manhattan from here, where we raise our matchsticks like cutlery, where we are singeing our most decent parts. Inside an ordinary room our bodies flatten and spread over the furniture like breakers catching the last of the sun.
From Spectra, by Ashley Toliver, courtesy Coffee House. Copyright 2018, Ashley Toliver.