"You look starved," I say, chewing my sandwich. Outside cigarette butts cascade through darkness; you wake to the sound of running feet, but it's just your heart. Can you show me what the soul is? I have sat in this restaurant for 17 years, waiting for y ou to answer while neon lights chase shadows up walls and ward off dreams. Do you wear your arms so thin as a reminder? Are you trying to tell me a story?
Cigarettes float like UFOs in darkness; you type long tracts into the computer to keep yourself from sleep -- 17 years of beautiful garbage, unusable in the life you are making after a greenhouse: glass ceilings, orderly rows of need...
We could be an explosion in the sky, constellations or kings. We could make love, declare war, invent a new form of violence. We could die on the cross or too close to the sun, swallow lightning, split wide open. Meanwhile, under our bodies, beneath our bones, lie a million days in every direction. We could go there, live our lives in ever-widening circles, spit fire, fly--
"I'm not hungry," you say.
I will keep asking.