You gave me three hugs before you left. Each one I thought was the last. As usual, I was right only eventually. An entire lunchroom had applauded a veteran of Buchenwald only a week before. You had said that you live near a fleet of freight trains too, and I felt utterly worthless.
I did not understand the miscommunication between myself and the man with the welding torch. What was this new kind of fire that he could so calmly stand behind? He wouldn’t be making a shed if he didn’t have anything to store. He wouldn’t be suturing its metals so tirelessly if it weren’t meant to withstand something. I walked on, comforted that he too would lose his voice if he were like I, the one it had been breathing upon.
Throat thoroughfare. My blankets were soaked. And on it every meal served from that lunchroom. I waited for my ovation. You tell me your father’s last glass of wine was a Cabaret he couldn’t stomach, coughing it out onto the wall. Little purple specks all over the wallpaper, as if the kitchen were diffusing at its corners.