Sunday, February 15, 2009

City Sidewalk Whispers

A partially avulsed ear
loosely wrapped in dirty gauze
listens carefully -
the eyes have long ceased meaningful input
staring fixated to the steaming sidewalk grate.
Maggots devour the dead flesh,
tickling like a child's whispered secret.
He strains to hear, to understand,
jugulars distended like dark blue rivers
crossing an ashen wilderness.
Voices are gray tides blurring across the grate,
footsteps strobe consonants through the iron slats,
occasional sirens break in red waves, pooling,
draining into the blackened cauldron
rising back up again as a gray steam.
"What?" he exclaims,
throwing a displacement wave into the foot traffic
pattern around him.
"Stop!" he shouts,
as the memory of a slashing razor
swoops out of the indistinct night
seeking his neck, but finding his ear.
Another whisper.
He listens carefully
watching the grate,
a tickling in his ear.

1 comment:

  1. This is awfully good. I'm not sure if he is dead or alive, and I guess that's the point? His spirit willing his ear back on again?

    "tickling like a child's whispered secret." That was a very intriguing line.

    Thanks for sharing.