After the car accident we get amenities, including a multi-course meal. Energy doesn’t
redirect, he says. It only implodes, explodes. The key is to attack things in moments of
grandeur and capability. I reject the special, a large pot. A girl hands me a packet of
forms with my name written in the corner, black letters with glowing neon shadows. Our
little gift to you, she says. Listening to his voice is like being pulled up slowly, tied in a
rope. Somehow he has a smaller sense of entitlement than the last one. All in all I’ve
moved up. The city as a whole has gotten better looking.
On my way back he says hello, waves me over. Despite the security vest it feels like a
movie’s involved once we start the ascent. A large, dark room. A purse lost and found.
Like we’re going to a show I’ve planned for a long time. He bends to pick up something I
drop. A garden of hair, reed-thin seedlings poked into the earth. Desire as a composite of
skin and bones. By a fluke he ends up winning, a little giggle in the spotlight. He’d
mentioned a heart condition, but I thought I’d misheard. Afterwards, he tells me about a
novel trilogy, but only the first two books. I’m pleasured mucking through the margins.
A split with a bow. In spaces of fabricated intimacy I’m not attracted to him. Sun drops,
wind seethes, and I watch my manners degrade. Sure enough comes consoling advice:
Ignore the downgrade, he says. What next, a frame for my ideas? Besides that cloistered
smile, what do you have to show for your glazed stare? After he answers his hair looks
different, more exploratory. Something in the droop of his mouth signifies a retrograde
reciprocity that’ll soon make me more grateful. When I concede he lunges gracefully,
like a deer with soft padded paws.