, , , , , , , , , , ,

“Why are you here, talking to me now, after—so many years?”

“I guess all the frolicking wore me down.”

“Unlikely. I used to see you coming down the street. I’d dissolve out of sight so you wouldn’t—You were always alone.”

“I never did stay longer than a night.”

“Did you ever see me?”

“I did.”

“Did it—did you feel anything?”

“I did.”

“But you kept cantering on. A beautifully proud and stoic Gran Cavallo.”

“A nag out to pasture.”

“I used to wish I could become you. I still do.”

“Grow a beard and thick wrists?”

“Do you know what I think?”


“I think one day, perhaps, part of my skull shall be found beneath a vending machine.”

“That won’t happen. You’re never around anyone brutal enough.”

“You’re not brutal enough?”


“It’s a brightly coloured vending machine, surrounded by snow-laden trees. And everything’s glazed in a thick pelt of ice. And it just sits there, soundless and devoid of use—offering cold drinks in a place where there are no summers. And underneath will be a little piece of my parietal bone—and a pale little springtail, no bigger than a centimeter—will find it. He’ll squiggle in delight, and use it as a lean-to to ease his eyes against the drone of the lights overhead—and there he’ll remain—to while away the winter.”

“A winter that never ends.”

“Maybe it will…I can feel sympathy for strange things.”

“It’s been so long since we’ve done this…”

“Yes. Rather sudden but natural—like the Rorschach of a deer misting across the morning commute.”

“Did you think I’d come back?”

“I didn’t think I’d…be here to find out.”

“Thought I’d forget you?”

“Ha. Like remembering a robin’s egg, found crushed in the grass on a cold spring day. Just a flash of amnion in the mud.”

“You said grass before.”

“Another non-sequitur. So many, so many. Could list them to the equator and back. But why come back…”

“I did miss you.”

“And I you.”

“You could never become me, you know—I’m not, I’m not whole.”

“I know. I know.”

“Did you ever—find that face?”

“Do you see one now?”

(No reply)

“Flakelets are scattering. Can you hear them?”


“Like tiny white beetles ricocheting against a black tarp. I must bed down immediately. That clicking noise will put me right to sleep.”

“I’m going, I’m going.”

“Did you go already?”


“Will you come back?”


“I guess you’ve gone. I can ease back now, let these arms bond to the earth, and analyze the entropy of this zigzag roof—see how long it takes for those holes to turn into denticled tears…”