February 27th, 2015
catching sand He had a habit of catching things.
catching sand by sylveda
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wilko's flea powder is full of permethrinhalfway through, words bloat like dead birds falling
out of your mouth.
sparrows nest every spring above my window and drop naked from the gutter and it's like this:
standing on the patio staring moronic at pink rows of skinbags,
three minutes behind discovering one alive.
someone else is doing a bad impression of listening. she scribbles two-tone down the wrong
side of the page, turns on the fan and all i can hear is a turbine
scooping up armfuls of air and vomiting
all over my neck and you talk
about stuff that happened
last night and i guess
i was there but
secretMy secret garden, far from
the aristocratic moors, the buried keys, the
overrated roses of the English,
lies behind the hospital parking garage
between East River and Broad.
I look down at it from the sunset streaks
that only touch the top story of the lot.
I look down at it through the reaching tree branches.
The security camera watches me look.
The concrete steps blunt,
the windows threatening jaggedness
escort my shoes and the tips of my toes
in a stretched spiral while
my eyes linger above.
They watch my hands push the ground floor door
that’s locked from the outside, they watch
as I walk along the bare brick of the wall,
turn the corner of the building
and step from twilight to night
under the trees on the bank of the river.
The river runs parallel to the parking garage
with a stretch of grass that’s always mowed in between.
There’s a chain link fence keeping the trees back.
There are lightning bugs here,
in this garden
while my eyes, overhead,
lean out far.
catching sand He had a habit of catching things.
Usually, good things. A basketball, or a cat falling from a tree, or his baby sister, one memorable time, as she fell out of her crib.
It was instinct to him, second nature. He didn't need to think about it—his hands acted independently from the rest of him, completely on their own accord, risk and volition. His hands, to him, were unbearably selfish. They thought very little of consequence. Didn’t the care about the potential pain? Did it matter to them that what they caught might. . . hurt?
He was still rather young the first time he caught a knife that had fallen off the kitchen counter. He caught it, unfortunately, by the blade. It sliced cleanly into the chubby flesh of his little boy palms. His mother saw the blood spilling from his hands and screamed, uncurling his fingers from around the knife. She shrieked at him, her voice shrilly with fear. Why had he held onto it like that? Why did he catch it in the first place?
BetrayersIt is the 53rd year of the Omega Century and sex between a boy and a girl can get you killed. Well, at least I think all kinds of sex does but really there’s only one that we treat special. I’ll get back to it. We call it the Omega Century because that is when the True Genders took over. My teacher said it happened because there were too many babies in the world and not enough older people to take care of them. So the True Genders made it so we don’t have too many babies anymore and so that we don’t suffer. When we are old enough, we can choose a man to love, and if you prove yourselves to be True Men you can get assigned little boys to take care of. But there are some people who don’t want to love in their gender. The men call them ‘Betrayers’, my older brother Olsen says it used to be called ‘being straight.’ But some Betrayers are different from others. Most end up going away in Purple Vans to a Blue Facility or a Pink Facility,