the zenith
the channels of the television sky
the nadir

ANODE -|- elsewhere -|- [poetry] static -|- the television sky -|- waterproject 1998 -|- aurora -|- [fiction] -|- intimations of geography

14. three locations
I. the library

There is an undercurrent here,
breezes born of turning pages;
the sighs of bored attendants
and ventilation
through stale passages.

                        She brought me here,
weighted satchel in one hand, my upper arm
in the other, a blur of motion
and exam desperation.

But that was a month ago. My whispers,
contrived to stir melancholy emotion,
agitate the pages of scholarly dissertations,
and invigorate the old-scented air,
bought a second's glance, but nothing more.

If she kept her promise,
the surge of adrenaline
would blot out all the words.

II. the switching yard

There is a deeper rattle here,
a mumbling noise of distant engines,
the thrumming hum of metal wheels
on metal tracks.

                She brought me here,
pulling me away from my door
with a flourish of cloth and hair,
a haze of perfume.

But that was yesterday. From behind
she draped her arms over my shoulders,
pointed down the tracks. Her sense of depth
and acuity informed her hands
to meet where the tracks met,
out there where the hum was louder,
a surging frenzied rhythm.

If she kept her promise,
the sound of the air
would defeat the trains.

III. the balcony

There is an echo here,
the distant crackle of small arms
(a close intimate sound of warm campfires
in a forest clearing) cut through
with a distant, keening wail.

                              She left me here,
avoiding my stare and demanding her leave
with a slap and a threat made with slurred
words, thick with anger and mucous.

But that was an hour ago. My distracted feet
carried down to harsh stairwell landings,
to the library and the switching yard.
Lost in speculation of a future both fearsome and
certain, they carried me eventually back here.
I haven't looked down.

If she kept her promise,
the wail of the sirens
would be for her.