…it’s eerily quiet inside, so I put on CNN, some distant, arid country bursting into flames, floodplain seawalls bursting, fists in the air, cars floating in city streets, helicopters, machine guns, banners printed in foreign languages curling into smoke and flame. Corruption and decay.
Keep it light.
I do the last line, open another beer, light a cigarette. I take a drag, blow a cloud of smoke.
It doesn’t help.
I see Pilot’s tattoo, remember the day I met him in John’s shop.
How many times I’ve seen that image since, the dripping ink, especially around Halloween, even when I avoided the downtown. At the beach, on the strip. In back alleys and empty lots. A screaming from beneath the ground. A rose, in black.