Sonya's so good that all the guys pick on her, so the evening's narrative goes. I've heard she wears yellow t-shirts each time to match her hair. Last time her tennis shoes got so dusty that she had to throw them out because there was no way on earth that they could be white again. Trunks shrink like deflated accor- dions, like melodramatic arguments after they've met face to face with someone's indifference. A baby cries and pouts while her mother is trying to scoop more Velveta on to her nacho. The father is strung out on something, someone in back of us says. A teenager with severe acne turns around and fires a dart full of cavities into my gaze. We give in to the pleasure of destruction for the sheer sake of waste. What inside, the collision, the jerk on the nape that makes the driver wonder whether this one's it. Swallow me dust while the crowd cheers and claps its French fries away into the space between a nearby neon and the floodlights gathering an army of many sized moths.
“There’s a lot of waiting in the drama of experience.”
Lyn Hejinian, Oxota
No signal from the interface except for a frozen half-bitten fruit.
Other than that, no logos. An hour is spent explaining
to the group what I’ve forgotten, to do with the mistranslation
of a verb that means driftingbut can imply deviance.
The next hour goes by trying to remember, in the back of my mind,
the name of the artist who makes paintings on inkjets.
Why I’d think of him escapes me. Now my gaze circles the yoga bun
of the tall woman in front of me. I didn’t pay $20 to contemplate
the back of her head. It’s killing me. The pillars and plaster
saints with their tonsures floating amid electronic sound waves.
At such volume they could crumble. The virgin safe in a dimly lit
niche as the tapping on my skull and the clamor of bones or killer
bees assaults the repurposed church. This is what I sought, while
in another recess I keep hearing Violeta’s “Volver a los diecisiete”
and seventeen-year-olds marching against the nonsense of arming
teachers. If I were an instrument. A bassoon. In the source language
we don’t say “spread the word.” Pasa la voz is our idiom, easily
mistaken for a fleeting voice. From the back row all I see is fingers
gliding in sync with her vocalizations. How fitting a last name
like halo. Lucky for us here time is measure and inexplicable
substance. That’s when I decide to stop fighting the city. Use it in my
favor. Speak to strangers. Demolish the construct in the performance.