Friday, August 28, 2015

46th Street

Exit my car. Walk across the road to a bridge. Stop. I put my hand to my chest when I see a crowd standing along the rail, a cop guiding traffic, a television crew recording. A woman heads my direction. Has it happened again, I ask. She looks confused. Has someone else jumped? Oh, wow, no, I don't think so, she says. She's with an animal rights group. They want the man who shot Cecil the Lion to face charges. I feel relief. I thought another person jumped, I say, and point to the memorial attached to the rail. She turns her head and sees it for the first time. She looks surprised. The flowers and the candles honor a woman who two weeks ago threw herself over the rail into the morning traffic on the highway below. She looks horrified. I did not know her, I say. Not even her name. The activist woman stands here for a lion killed for a reason I misunderstand. Maybe I would be here for a lion, too, if not for a woman whose action made headlines in the paper, on the television for one day. Maybe I would be here for a lion, too, if not for a woman who jumped off a bridge I crossed moments before. I note the name of the lion support people. They could be my people. They have tucked away fancy doughnuts in a pink box, safe from traffic and random passersby. 

Two Ships

You were there? I was there too. Where were you? Around the corner, where we sat before. Oh, I was in line. How odd that we were there at the same time but didn't see each other. Exactly where were you? Where the benches are around the corner from the line for food. I'm not seeing it in my head. Anyway, what did you have to eat? The scallop taco. Me too. It's the best. Yeah, it's so good. Later, I tell a third party. Guess who was there while we were there? Really? Yes, she was there while we were there and we didn't see each other. Where? Where we were before with her. Where we were when we were there together sitting on a bench around the corner. We were never where we were together with her. That was another place, third party days. That's where she was, not us. You're right. I see it now. We were at one place and she was at another. Never were we with her together where we were. 

Some Summer Sunday Nouns

On a Sunday this past summer while relaxing at a city lake I saw many things, including sunglasses visor dog blanket shorts backpack pen paper bird boat bike sun clouds parent child teen baby new old fit fat reader eater drinker athlete hat cap tank tee white beige brown and finally black.


I looked online at a picture of James Foley on his knees. A man behind him, dressed in black and face covered, held his head and a knife against his throat. The photo looks fake. It could not really be real. That is my reaction to such moments. When I was a girl my parents took my sister and me to see the folies in Las Vegas. Women walked across a stage wearing sequins, feathers, little else. I saw bare breasts for the first time. (No, I had never seen my mother's.) Are those real, I asked. Yes, my mother said. I wished they weren't.