AN ARMED MAN LURKS IN AMBUSH
Ladies wave their handkerchiefs in greeting, men lift their hats. The passing flock of crows spreads a bewilderment of shadows. Police disguised as woodcutters and Lithuanian tailors watch from behind lampposts. Each day brings less daylight, but also lessons in how to hull seeds. I look up at colossal windows arched like tombstones. All along and without claiming it, I’ve had a seat on the wagon that carries my coffin.
Oh, to be old and stoop-shouldered and walking through streets that aren’t there, pastel birds from discount pet stores rioting like exasperated horns and rattles and a statue of the dictator ducking into a doorway in a shapeless cape of melting snow.
I borrowed my broken yellow teeth from diseased longings. Icky, the child said. Even thieves had lost faith in the face value of paper money. Despite the film of dust on everything, winter retained some of the glitter of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. An old lady leaning a ladder against the side of her house was the only one in the village to escape. What next? Contact me with suggestions.