AFTER DARK

Photo courtesy of Leslie Lewis. Follow her, @lessyloo, on Instagram.


I stand on my front step and wait for you to call. It’s bitter out here. Bitter, damp, and dangerous for my nettled lungs, the ones that ache with each cough and with each wheezy breath. I don’t care. I don’t care that my fingers are already numb; I don't care that my chest is prickling. Right now, in this small infinity of winter and passive-aggression, it is night and it is snowing. It's quiet as cotton, brilliant as rain, and it falls. Down, down, down through branches and onto rooftops, sidewalks, my shoes. I've frozen laces and wet eyelashes and yet I stand, waiting. Coughing. Waiting. The snow makes no sound of its own, I realize. No. No, it doesn’t. Rather, it softens the white noise of the streets. It’s sanguine, really, how the lacy flakes silence the city like a white tablecloth. Surely, it must be dinnertime somewhere. But here on my step, in my wool coat and six-year-old sneakers, I've a different hunger. Down, down, down.

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