A gash in the ground. Ladder encased in litter, time, tendrils of DNA superimposed upon DNA, loose hair, change, chapstick, tickets. Braved by my lipstick – a weaponry, a scarlet-studded arsenal. Heels puckered, flesh agape. Fingers damp in coat pockets, matted bangs, compression, people-to-people, somehow carnal. We fit into shuttered glass boxes, all of that pocked, reddened, crusty skin, all of those skittish wide-framed bones packed into each other. Moving parts, all of us. A messenger called the Metro ferries us along, saying: There is no Paris without blisters. There is no Paris without suffocation. Out of our festering cocoon, into the pulse of leaf-stickied sidewalks, night-ice, open streets, city eclipses passenger, we hold onto ourselves only, we empty our heads of each other’s cologne, bad breath, whatever tangled perfume each person mists our way. Outside, breathing through our own lungs again, but anointed by the flight of our brackish underground.



Photograph, titled “Midday”, courtesy of the author.

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