The day of the victory parade, I headed out, shell in hand and with no particular plan but to notice everything. I was surprised by how fast the city quieted. When I took my walk, there were no people, only red plastic cups everywhere. What was left was trash, everywhere and two feelings: hope, which I pushed deep down and longing which I carried and felt different. Also aimed differently. This was before and after the combustion. It was in the middle, in fact, of one implosion but the other. The thing that hurt me: all the plastic cups.
The clacking of the heels is what woke me up. A woman was walking by me.. I was on the outside of Rittenhouse staring because I couldn’t remember the exact tree. In fact, both walks were a haze: the walk that led me there today and the walk that led me there two years earlier. I don’t know how long I stood there, bottom lip numb. I tried to lick my teeth to feel them. I earned these. And doing it so gesturally.and loud: taking my hand, peeling back my anesthetized lip to lick the front two teeth. It’s true: the warmest thing about me was buried somewhere in town under one of these trees.
I lick my molars holding my lip like that. They are rough and recently filed. I try to think back to what it was I really asked for sitting on the cold dirt, beaming in illusion. It had dried there on the way. I plucked it right from the watery bowl as the day was kind of warm, or at least not warm, but sunny. The town was dotted with green and white and smiles and I wore sunglasses the whole walk to mask my blatant highness. I kept it near in palm the rose of jericho shell in my hand in my pocket. A complete blank space walking, absorbing. I traced the fingers of my left hand around the entire city: all the beams, all the walls, all the rail, all the cracks and imagined. My permanent stasis is wave so I can’t really cup a thing or pinpoint the thoughts, just that I did begin to write the way it felt to walk into a crowd feeling pulled in two directions: then and now, but more than that to come. Oh how I say the word more so often. The way it felt to be so sure, pursuant of nothing, that what is right is yours.
And then sitting quietly under a tree while the whole town rejoiced at some publicity and little win. I buried the shell that had been soaking for six months in and out of my desert flower’s bowl. Sometimes placed on altar. Sometimes placed in pocket. Somewhere in the middle of town under one of these trees, I buried it. When the city felt high on luck after the super bowl, I was replete with two things: a repressed hope and an urge to touch someone and I buried it in center square like
nothing means a thing to me, even then.
And I walked back tucking amethyst somewhere.
Nothing means a thing to me.
If I could solidify into a permanent state it wouldn’t be so corporeal to begin with like air, or something even less palpable than that, like evaporation.