v u l v a l i c i o u s
hollow cities and artificial light
I forget that spring doesn't come when invited. That fireflies don't appear outside my window when I'm here, not even on the hottest day in summer.
I want to look out my window and catch the twinklings of yellow-green lights, one after the other, until I can't tell where the city ends and the fireflies begin.
Instead I am holding my breath and waiting for spring, trying not to drown in torrential rains and the disasters of friends. I'm looking at the bridge into the city through grey clouds that hang low enough to touch, low enough to swallow the tops of buildings and envelope billboards. My world is erased down to a white page.
I write emails but want to send letters. I want to forget everything that has passed between us and start over. I tell stories and turn my head when you pass so that I won't have to see you, won't have to look you in the eyes. I write secrets but want to read futures.
I keep looking for a light in the distance and a speck of green outside. I am waiting for you to tell me something that doesn't hurt. I want to hear my friends say, "I never thought it would end for me, but it has, and I have never been happier." The crying has to stop somewhere, sometime. There has to be a night without the taste of bitter herbs on my tongue.
Meanwhile, I keep falling in love. I find the pieces of my heart stuck in the pages of Cat's Cradle (50, 149) and glued to the liner notes of mix CDs. They flutter through the sky like old receipts blown up from a trash can or flicker on the sides of buildings late at night. It is always surprising and sometimes upsetting.
I keep waiting for the city to swallow me up with its vast concrete mouth, spit me out into the darkness of a subway tunnel. I close my eyes and see a thousand fireflies and dream that I am home again.