THE MAN WHO MOONEYED AROUND
BY KEELY SIMONE
This could work. It could. We could make it happen.
The word could. U in the middle of cold. Jammed through the gut. You insert yourself. You assert yourself. An attempt you must make. Take steps. Listen to feet. One step. Another step. Short steps, lengthening. Unlike a helicopter. With its blades. Around the air. Staying up like that. Unlike that. We move unlike a helicopter. Just a step. Unlike a steamer. Turbines we don’t need. We fall, and catch ourselves. A woman was coming, then disappeared. Too much disappearance. Things should stay. Things not made of metal should become things. They should act like things of metal, not move. Or move slowly. Make noise when they move. It should be arthritic. An hour before sunset. The rusted strands of swing sets in late November. When the playground’s full. Not worth the effort. Worth thinking about trying. The attempt. The step. The fall caught and repeated, movement ahead. The man who mooneyed around saw a woman disappear. She wore black leather pants that shined. They shone. Her black leather shone. He renamed the sun “20.” Numbers are good when renaming things. The sun. It turns things not made of metal into objects worthy of numbers. A number makes it slow down. The number ten stuck between zero and twenty. Standing on the top deck of the Circle Line, smell the Hudson’s nonsmell. The Hudson’s no-stink of wake, disturbance, reflection. No ships here. Only stones. Rocks. Boulders. Arranged on the water. Gulls should skip across the water. Tossed low and sharp, twenty quick skips, then under. Within each stone there’d be a helicopter cycling. Drone emptying. Letting in dump trucks reversing. Then the trucks stop. No planes. No copters. Stones sink. A runner runs along the water, running. His heart beats like a helicopter’s blades, muffled by muscle and skin. The ferris wheel across the river stopped. Flags on top. Turned out to be a clock. Telling the right time. The Statue of Liberty never sees the sunset. It’s easy to juggle crows. They stay up awhile. This could work. We’ll paint over our tattooed fangs. Get a few shaggy dogs the kids call lions. Name our arms Faith and Hope. Say we were born in 1891. There’s nothing wrong with that. When the bicyclist comes up with a cigarette dangling and asks for a light, we’ll help him. When he asks the time, we’ll tell him, although an hour later we’ll realize we told him it was much later than it was. When the dog runs off with its leash trailing, we’ll watch it catch the squirrel and leave a tail behind. And the young mothers will push their children in shopping carts.
The preceding has been revised by Drachen Fliegen
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