Taking no prisoners. Including herself.


Such is the case tonight as rain’s fingernails scratch down my windowsill, customary wailings from lost sirens, strings of sighing traffic — a San Francisco swan song about to be sung.

There are globes of lights everywhere — glass orbs of water lit from the Party Store’s winking strobe, Christmas strings languid and loose, fractured spray spit against the sidewalk from car wheels, and one big glowing screen in front of me like always.
Like always.

And like always, the rain steps on the black streets with his tiny feet, but this time I am not alone with my city. We, two, in love, must share each other tonight, and make room.
Future tip-toes in.

Time moves in a circular motion, too.

Suddenly it is no longer night’s soft belly, but the cool breeze blowing in late afternoon. You are reading to me, in smooth lyrical whispers, like old satin ribbons, African creation stories — why death exists, where the world was born — when my old lover the city taps at my window. I turn to his familar coos, VIBRANT courtings, twisted banter, green lights! Doors
Open: pulsings, f r e e d o m s, frac tured, panting –

I stand up and leave you. Go the window. Sit down and write. You remain on the couch reading alone as the frenzy consumes me again. You’ll never love another but me, the city whispers, my writing whispers, my heart whispers, there is no room for another.

I write like the rain. The clicking of keys floods the room as I drown myself back into safety. You ask what I’ve written. Would I like to share? The cold breeze blows in harder. The city’s seductions louder: It’s me and you, babe. Me and you. Don’t leave me now, we’ve only begun… The sirens are back, and the traffic is haunting, pulling at old demons that shed long shadows, and deep. There is a sudden stiffness about the light, my toes have gone numb and I am certain I have to run to the store to buy… anything.

But you don’t say another word. You light up your cigarette, and watch time wobble in circles around our heads. My typing slows. My sentences shorten. I finish. I’m done. I look at you. You look back.

“It’s cold,” I say.

“Sure is,” you smile.

“Shut the window,” I ask. You do.

“Wanna hear what I’ve got?” I ask. “I’m ready to share.” You look at me and say:

“I do.”

[for I.G.]

§258 · December 9, 2006 · Narrative, San Francisco glory · · [Print]

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