Rustlings, rumbling voices, a ledge where we teeter, quite the drop, then a picnic blanket in the sun. Statues of horse, cow, an art gallery around us, a slug on the carpet, at first it felt like cat shit – still alarming, plus there’s the slime-line. Telling, I’m saying. Old factory floor of lined-up bricks, not laid flat but on their sides. Thin bricks slowly melded by janitors sweeping cleaning compound across. Before long handcarts roll smoothly. Now you pant, frantic to be getting somewhere. I am not playing around, you think I’m trying to mess with you and back away, yet still remain, otherwise you’d never savor flavors like the ones I was peppering this morning, before I started in on the okra. That is ahead of us, perhaps beyond us, actually we’ll never get that far this time. It’s not tragic to say so. Here I am thinking about food, now you’re the one flirting, we’ll have to hope for a restaurant, not this old treadmill, so much for my nap. A glove of papier-måché crinkling around the ribcage may indicate hunger, if not hunger, another neediness, a cobra, who ordered the cobra. Cartons on handcarts, heading to the dock. Trucks. A light rain to ignore, whether on foot or bicycle, soon enough it ends, other openings will offer alternate amusements – children coming home for lunch, talking – a shop opening and closing many times during the day, because the only employee’s the owner, meandering like a human. Soon stairs will repay their invention. Soon you will come back, as I have yearned and predicted. Even the serifs play their part, using their inside voices, and will not apologize.

David McAleavey

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