Saturday, February 15, 2014


My bedroom window looks out onto a narrow alleyway. Rust red buildings rise on all sides, pressing in like the stone-faced strangers of a crowded subway car. Another storm hit today. “The worst winter in years", the newspapers say.

It’s late and calm and quiet now. Snow glitters in the stillness, sprawled in deep drifts across this city. Ribbons of white lace the long diagonal stretch of Broadway, frosting fire escapes and gracing eaves. 
Across the alley, a woman flicks on her kitchen light. Leaning against an aging yellowed countertop, she is bathed in the sickly-sweet glow of a fluorescent bulb. She fills a water glass at the faucet, drinks for a moment, and then shuffles out of sight. The kitchen light goes out. 

And I sit, still straining to see, now peering only into darkness. The dirty yellow of the kitchen is replaced with smooth blackness, save for a ghost of the light: a hazy, luminous rectangle stamped into the back of my eyes. The scene is bright and stark as an ember, burning through the blue-black night.

  It is a flame in the velvet dark, with liquid borders too fluid and fleeting to ever name or know. I sit transfixed as the moment glides past, fast on the wing and soon out of reach.
Gone as quickly as it came. 
Gone as irrevocably.


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