Bite-sized · Poem

Spildevand

Jeg mærker dybest tryk i mit sind

En vandret udstrækning indad

En undervandssjæl

Min sovjethjerne men amerikanerkrop

Over fladen

Men kan ikke trække vejret

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Bite-sized

Bus stop

He is standing at the bus stop. Watching the rain fall and never land. Cars are passing by. The street lights are distorted by sprinkles of rain. A flickering image of interference. They woosh to the left and hurl right. Then straight down and soon almost horizontally.

He pulls back his hood. Soft raindrops slowly prickle his skin. His lips are cold and broken and his fingers are brittle to the bone. He opens his eyes and tries his best not to flinch at the sprays of water hitting his face. A man on a bike passes by. He is singing along to a song played through his earbuds. His lips are moving but no sound escapes them.

He takes a step back. Head turning slowly to follow the man on the bike’s path down the road. His hair is getting wet and slick. A quick peek at his wrist tells him that his bus is late… Again. The rain has muffled this otherwise so busy street. It’s like the whole town has been sealed in silence and everyone is afraid of the cold. The big jackets are out. The kind that’s lined with fur in every end and feels more like a blanket with a zipper than a piece of clothing. The people are shrouded in the night. Hiding their faces from late autumn’s biting breezes.

There are other people at the bus stop. Some are sitting, watching carefully over the hands in their laps. Some are standing, subtly rocking back and forth. Some seem to think that this will make the wait shorter. That their dance will make time go faster. But the rain keeps falling and the bus isn’t coming.

The cars are moving soundlessly through the night. Their headlights seem so dim, like fireflies protruding over a sea of asphalt. He looks back over his shoulder. His gaze is met by a lady looking back at him expressionlessly. Shivers run down his spine and through his arms. For just a second he wonders if she’s dead or alive, because she is as unmoving as a marble bust. But then suddenly the bust cracks and comes to live. She coughs dryly, wipes her mouth and stands upright, frozen still again.

They seem to have aged a hundred years with the setting of the sun. He unzips and lets his jacket drop to the ground. A sight that disturbs the others at the bus stop. Maybe the winter wear was what really was keeping them cold. Though they stare at him, he doesn’t look back as he turns around and walks into the dark. The rain keeps falling and never landing.

And their bus is late.

Bite-sized

A room of boxes

You are sitting in a room.

The lighting is dim, and you’ve long forgotten how you got here. You know if you were to stretch your arm out in front of your eyes, you wouldn’t able to see it. So you don’t bother trying. Your eyes are just now beginning to adjust to the darkness and you can barely make out your surroundings, although you’ve definitely been here for a long time.

You’re sitting in a chair. It’s rigid, but softly cushioned, and you know you won’t leave its comfort even if you were to try. Because you probably couldn’t. So you don’t bother trying. You are surrounding by heavy boxes. Wood, plastic and cardboard. The walls are tapered with them – you know this, even though your line of sight is blocked by the calamity of containers immediately in front of you.

You consider how much shoulder space you have, here in the eye of the box storm. There’s enough room for you to awkwardly move around in the chair to find a comfortable sitting posture, but probably not enough room for you to do a full spin with your arms spread wide. So you don’t bother trying.

You once knew what was in the boxes. You are sure of it. And you begin to try to open them. You think figuring out their contents will help you open and empty them, but no matter how much you pry, the heavy boxes simply won’t budge.

You realize that your attempts at unraveling the boxes’ contents are futile. So you slump back down in the chair. And you don’t even bother calling for help. Because you are trapped. And your baggage is blocking the way out.

You are sitting in a room. A room of your own boxes.

You can’t get out.

You don’t bother trying.

Bite-sized

Night time breezes bite

A street. A street you can look down and squint your eyes and walk on the tip of your toes trying to see the end until you give up and let the horizon engulf the asphalt alongside your curiosity. A non-winding, non-populated street. One that is lit up by a thousand tiny fireflies strung up in pairs of two, carefully placed in repeating intervals. A street in a quiet town some hours past midnight. The kind of street that simply doesn’t seem to end no matter how long you keep walking no matter how much effort you put into those striding legs of yours no matter how many times you tell yourself that it could be any moment now. Any old street, really. A street that is completely barren and deserted, but full of life and shimmering with fantastic opportunity nonetheless.

              That sort of street.

The kind you only ever experience when you are alone and the night is dark and looming and feels like a cloak surrounding and protecting you from whatever dangers lay ahead. Flanking the street, assorted buildings, homes that used to be the sources of beaming rays of colored light have turned into indistinct grey blocks of interference. Street signs greet you with forgotten names that only meant something while the sun had yet to sink deep into the ground. The silence clings to the sidewalk and creeps up the facades of the blocks of interference and the infinite asphalt with long frayed fingers, unbroken despite your uninvited trodding steps.

              It embraces you.

Bite-sized

Talking to Myself

“I don’t have any stories to tell,” cried the feeble boy.

“There now, child. You must have something in that head of yours,” the looming man towering over his head urged.

It was chilly outside. And the world had fallen asleep, shrouded in shadows. It was a winter torment, to be sure. The child nodded silently. His lips moved, on the edge between forming a word and trembling. He made a gesture with shaking hands, but already before he’d begun, he stopped himself.

The man sighed. It was a knowing sigh. One that told the child that the man had been down this road before. And that the man had felt the same.

The child looked up from staring at his toes. Up at the man’s winded face and his pitch black eyes.

“I do have something in this head of mine…
But it’s only as good as it’s mine.”

Bite-sized

Copyright

His hand was stretched worn and thin, relaxed on the bedside as Dog entered the room by tapping under the red-hooded curtains.

Dog asked Owner, why did he always leave the window closed, even in the heat of summer?
He took another sigh of the cigarette and answered, some adult things were his goddam business only.

Dog then asked Owner, drowning through the smoke and dust, why he chose to smoke so much?
He nodded uncomfortably in the armchair and answered, smoke is everywhere in life except here.

Dog sighed, and finally asked Owner, why did he not buy food for Dog and her children?

This time he smiled. He raised his skeleton body from the chair, standing in front of Dog. Because this way, I’ll get rid of you sooner, he said, suddenly opening the window, throwing out the cigarette, and grabbing the dog with both hands, his body suddenly trembling with long lost, uncontrollable joy.