I placed my hand against the screen door
to feel the temperature of the air outside.
It was warm.
I left when night felt permanent
the way a letter gets pulled from an envelope.
The grass was wet
which was significant for vague reasons.
It was interesting just to be outside.
Looking up was inspiration
for the stars to do modern dance.
The one where they move
and don’t move at the same time.
I was trying to engender a gold thing
in the shape of a time and place.
May something two thousand something, when
I was moored to distance.
Contact was as thrilling as the fear
that I was having a general experience.
Under the football stadium
far away from myself. The demolition team
arrived before I was awake.
They demolished my sleep. Some giants
took a pair of scissors to the clouds
turned every threshold into a snowport.
There were auguries of a new living arrangement
between the italics on the drive-thru sign.
Some canned peaches in light
syrup on a sheet metal shelf at the gas station
waited patiently for transportation.
taciturnly meaning I was cruel
in the interest of protection
on a bus named after a famously fast dog.
Change was from blue to grey
like a slow-moving traffic signal on Neptune.
The bridge at night
Not your average video art project.
At the Eau Claire market
I pictured sound
like drawing fireworks with eyes closed.
Search for dice made of blue air
behind every sugar bowl
in every renovated kitchen.
vs. The Small Miracle
Of Mass Transit At Night With Headphones.
Wait and see.
I held my hands in the shape of a book
and wrote a novel in blackberries.
They were the colour of night
in an advertisement.
I carried the evening
the way a deaf composer carries compositions
from piano to pit.
My opera came back as silence
after it went through plywood
which was the room divider.
Corrupt I loved watching trains
divide the neighbourhood into sections.
When I listened to my voicemail
and moved to St. Henri
I conceived of my body
as a tower of water.
Bad weather symbolized something
I was unable to fathom.
The fruit stand owner
thought the weather was appropriate
for sleeping I took his advice.
What I thought were the wracks
of my neighbour’s sobs
was just the water main breaking through cement.
Sometimes I think a part of me
was expecting the flood.
A big part of me.
The warning signal was loud enough,
we kept hearing the noise.
Every wave feels like a new wave
rather than a continuation of water.
I’m already sitting here
a hotel for minerals.
Note: The italicized line in “Flood Story” is taken from the Akkadian epic Atrahasis (translated by S. Dalley).
Jay Winston Ritchie is the author of the poetry chapbook How to Appear Perfectly Indifferent While Crying on the Inside (Metatron, 2014) and the short story collection Something You Were, Might Have Been, or Have Come to Represent (Insomniac, 2014). His work has appeared in Vallum, Glittermob, Matrix, Joyland, and other places. He is Assistant Editor for Metatron. Visit him online at jaywinstonritchie.tumblr.com.