Volume 4, October 2011

MRB ChelkoView Contributor’s Note

from M a n h a t t a t i o n s

= To keep alive I flick unpolished fingers against the skull of this city, like, hey, my sister bleeds forever from the head, in my head she is four years old and jumping under the porch steps, wet, everything changes, New York, you would want, too, secretly, for the rest of your life, to see that much blood again, and on the drive to the hospital you would understand everything and imagine leaves as schools of red fish flexing streams through the wind. = because there is none the park lawn now trampled black with charcoal dust still two kids chase the dream of an orange ball through the muck a woman with a trash bag slung over her shoulder crosses the street so slow the world pauses it’s possible the mouth of a man singing at a red light in his minivan frozen open a sound no one will ever hear slips back down his throat not a single voice rises in the whole world as abandoned cruise ships scoot along the ocean of sky pretending to be clouds = the breath of morning I can’t smell the difference between train stops what if anything does that mean people should at times be able to mention the names of poets without dropping them and think for no reason of elephants as their hearts fill with coffee I think for no reason if you like me you should say you like me and hold out your hand I’m headed to work with a small cache of great heights stuffed in my brain like I want to win prizes and never work again for anyone I’ll wear impossibly red heels be the woman I will never be the woman on the platform laughing into the wind of passing time and train holding her leather bag and cell phone like no way is the wrong way home = The recorded voice of a politician rises from a slow moving truck bed. Everything an overlay. The white noise of trains and buses rumbles too, like some long constipated volcano we’ve all stopped fearing over time. Only one man on the street still believes we will burn one day, and even he doesn’t move. Already a rock seared orange, he says, Watch the steam rise from my scorched head like the hair of an ocean god curled by the sea. The politician’s voice, unintelligible, booms down the block. A woman’s laugh cracks the pavement, and I crawl inside the dark gash because haven’t we just made a big mess of living? Have a seat. Let’s go crazy. We have no hope and no money, New York.