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‘That’s what girls with powerful fathers do.’ ((Kelsey Rose.: 3.10.11, outside 25 West 4th Street, New York NY, 3:21 pm EST.: On the disparity between the radical voice in the early works of Rosario Ferré and the overt pro-statehood politics of Rosario Ferré.)) A slave for ever dilutes with dignity the fiction of love. The truth of this is spectacular. That even the mechanism of nature carries in its chaos an evanescent integrity. As I have been rent from these senses; none preserved, the right to have at chaos. We fester. We, when realized, will ways to destroy. And there, think nothing of order’s lamentations. Someone unheard is waiting to name love, again.
Some summer day, recall, your younger boy runs in the house for a plastic cup and fills it with water. Head full of sun, you hear him burning up the front steps into the kitchen. A few moments later, from the same window, you watch him run back outside and attempt to pour slowly his water down the chute of an ant colony. On the lawn. He stares, squatted by the small hill, waiting, listening perhaps for a sound. What makes this ant to rend the integrities. With what will to inseminate the sun.
This one that loves enough itself to love. That carries in its gaze the touch, honeyed. An eye that breathes, opening from season. The symbol, simple in its breath, is cruel—binds any grander sense of self in string. Ear pressed to hear the sound of summer flee. A speech that reaches, ringing from a depth, must make no mention of what light requests. The silence of the iris on its banks. The gentle lapping of his river rank in the arduous disintegration. Violent theft of holy soon forgotten. As was his wont, my once and future boy. A boy that would not leave with them their godhead. Will not abolish, and every morning together I chance, my hand over your kicking womb, that beauty is the perpetuation of the third language.
That legacy of man is a shadow, an impression, of the kept goodness in the flock of the fairer brother. In his absence Cain builds a metropolis. Of glass and gilt iron and gilt. The earth recoils from his hand. What transpires between two legs of a triangle, between four sides of a tetrahedron. A young man at the opposite end of the car has vomited, a nickel-yellow puddle between his black penny loafers. One nearest him nearly jumps from her seat, almost caught in the blast radius. There begins an egress. He is wearing a black leather jacket and black trousers. All black everything. His crewcut hides nothing of a stoic embarrassment; wanness with eyes closed. His head begins slowly to slump and nod, his shoulders dropping weight on his elbows pressing down on his knees to keep propped up his back. An argentine string of dribble hanging from his open mouth, distended by gravity, stretched and finally snapping back to his lip. Then the smell. Slightly more of vodka than bile. He wretches there, an abandoned figure sitting in the middle of the glossy slate blue bench, leaning slightly against the brushed steel rail in the bright florescent white light, beneath advertisements for Skin. And we are still sitting impatiently in the dark. Those of us who have not left the car, cooperating with the odor. And the blinding white and mirrored surfaces of the car in the dark; the iterative image in the angled double pane at each of the ends of the car. Several suns in the compound eye. If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? ((Genesis 4:7; King James Version.)) Something as well, biblical, of light succeeding dark by divine fiat. As one is not been a concept of the imagination before the other and began the cogs, each of such a series of projections, of his time.
One whose visual sport is textual encounters first law. Building between two energies a third language. Etching on the pane. Of an etch-proof glass. er schreibt es und tritt vor das Haus und es blitzen die Sterne er. What Heidegger was unable to say. To we who are eyebright and arnica sitting impatiently in the dark. Those of us who have not left the car, cooperating with the odor.
‘The ties were cut and smashed between that point and the mouth of the tunnel. where the first car hit the concrete partition pier separating the north and the south sides of the tunnel. It was determined that the loss of life occurred almost entirely in the wooden cars of the train when they were dashed against the steel pillars, which cut like giant scythes through the sides of the cars and through the passengers packed inside them.’ ((The New York Times.: 11.4.1918.: THE MAYOR TO BEGIN B.R.T. INQUIRY TODAY)) If you knew what you were saying. If you could hear yourself, I mean. No—actually. If you knew what you were saying. If you could hear. There is in sound the imperative. Something irreparably fractal. Something rhizomatous. If you knew what you were saying. If you knew that sound of catastrophe is the blue midday. How many at any given moment are above and beneath you there is the blue midday? What is this sound in the blue midday? As a contact shoe touching and the smoldering sewage behind. A hand never too near. Or depth in devoid of light for things that sit beneath the tracks is an other notion of now seeing. Do we our whiskers grope through sound is blue midday?
A refinement of the sense is necessary. Right off the Hudson, by Vark. A Kawasaki plant in Yonkers. Kawasaki Heavy Industries Limited. Tokyo owned, Yonkers operated, in a building that was once the Otis Elevator Plant. Operating under United Technologies Corporation, the plant was closed in 1982. From the vertical to the horizontal chords of the subterranean bent snakeways. $16 million in taxpayer grist as investment of good faith in the modernization of Otis Elevators. It is now Kawasaki Rail Car Inc. Tokyo owned, Yonkers operated, stainless steel makers of the stainless steel R160B model. Where we sit, imagining the hand of Yonkers. Wearing safety goggles. With soot in bed and sinus of nail. Ember showers and disappear. Under many machines. A loud grooming sound. Riveting America. The factory built of a distinguished red brick. A red brick smokestack projecting its emulsions into the blue midday. Where Salomón III, for four years, worked as a heavy-crane operator. In his fifth year with Otis he was assigned to overseeing elevator repair-part production. Never lacking in ambition, per se, but dutiful. A forced hand I’d imagine. I had twelve by the death of the Second and my brother never complained. The spitting image of Salomón II in heart and mind, but the Third wore a softness of character that the Second kept hidden. This wasn’t entirely absent in the Second, but hidden. As when, in elementary school, he watched as I lost a fight in the yard. He walked over slow and stately, dispersing the crowd. He said nothing to me. Tears running down my face. He held my hand, which fit cleanly in his palm, as I recall, and we walked to the corner store. He bought me a creamsicle. Orange was my favorite color. I could never forget that, there in the Second. Funny. The fights, bone and muscle forget. The scars though. And that was often his intention. We learned. We ate fear behind. My father, not long after my fight, found a pack of Winstons in the Third’s bedroom. He dragged all the Solnidos, Mami, Mom, and Payín, into the living room round midnight. The pack of Winstons in the dim lamplight of the coffee table. His lawyer lamp with the green glass shade over the bulb and the brass stem. I remember. The Second opened the pack and handed the Third a Winston. Lit it for him and stepped back a mile into the dark as my brother in the catbird seat took nervous drags. Down to the filter. Where you going to put it out? My father asked from beyond the glow of the lamp which only caught, just like that. My brother at the end of the Eames at the edge of the Eames chair. The dark rowhouse of the bookshelf behind. Womenfolk in the umbra. The Second stepping forward then, at the edge of light. Emerging. My brother looked starved for air, trembling. He, in a craven whisper I remember, attempted to resist. please. His hand reaching up toward the approaching Second with the smoldering butt glowing in the dark between his thumb and index finger. please. Then in the light said Second to Third. Open your mouth.
No hay nada mejor. The Third, my brother, his eyes always on the prize, gleaning his small seeds, fed me in the following year’s absence. Acting surrogate in the emptied umbra. Coming home after dark. Singing James Brown in the kitchen. Eating lukewarm leftovers earlier prepared by Veronica. Sometimes I’d sit with him. Just listen to him sing or hum or tap a beat. Wait for him to look up from the plate and grin my way. A lovely, feral grin. A fatigued grin. I was in my middle teens when, in the early months of 1983, Veronica left him for Willy Detroit Wallace and Detroit. Took his son. In 1983. My nephew. The custody hearing lasted into spring of the following year with Veronica flying in at regular intervals, late and imperiled. His son, legally bound to visit, would not return to Brooklyn without his mother for another sixteen years. The morning of the decision I remember lifting Batman and the Outsiders #10 from the corner store. I cried silently, like a man. THE KILLING OF BLACK LIGHTING. Strapped and abused on a saltire. And my brother’s expression, having just driven home the old Nova for the last time, a shadow drawing over his darkling face. Gone by morning from the house on Stratford. Lost to riveting America. I should have said something. I could see how neglected she felt in the late afternoons alone with the child. Waking, alone, with the child. Nursing alone, that fucking bastard. So unraveled the promise of his prize, his promise. A broken bower. And I.
‘It’s getting late.’ ((Floetry.: 3.18.11 Getting Late; Floetic (2002 DreamWorks Records) 7:50 am EST.: She will not fall asleep with me in this leavening vulnerability of morning. Standing nude in front of the blinds, dressing with her back to me, arms up and hands busied adjusting floccose waves of hair into a neat bun. She dips, pulling up sheer hosiery over her hips to meet her narrow waist, just below the navel, as shadow passing over the ochretone of her skin. Sun rising over the rooftops, striating, through the blinds, the silhouette of her bare breasts. She reaches for her bra. Lissom and leaving. Impressions on the tongue.)) Who is unafraid to say, to tell, what to love is. In the infinitives. It proves never a topic too large for we. A prayer with no vocalic amen.
It’s getting late. The vomiteer is breathing softer now, pulling thinly through his open mouth. The muscles of his back tensed to regulate respiration. No longer reaching to oxygenate his insides. He has found, for the moment, some equilibrium. The air still thick with malhumor. With ironies are eyelids chafffallen from my halfsleep. On the floor of my halfsleep. That floor speckled black and white and red and red and gray. Shoeprints. Vomit. To unlove. ‘You are unloveable, but need it more.’
At my right sits an adolescent and, beside him, his mother. As goes the smell of his youth mingled with malhumor: shit and fresh laundry. Fidgety laundry and fresh shit and malhumor. At my left are three teenage whitegirls from middle America clustered together, wearing pajamas, carrying blankets and luggage from Wal-Mart. Leaning, almost huddled, over the girl seated at the center of the troika discussing their lateness in a mistaken volume. If they know no cipher lasts forever. The girl closest to me turns and asks unexpectedly—Does this train stop at 23rd street? Her young breast cleaving the light between sight and point. Plain in the florescent white; if diglossia is its color must remain a body in motion or a body in stasis. Milk fed. She repeats, softer now, friendlier—Does this train stop at 23rd street? Yes, I think so. Or at least it will after 14th. She nods her thanks and turns away. They discuss their lateness, their waiting, waiting. I am watching the dark window. In the window she is watching me. Her friends have moved on to a new topic of conversation. <<running express to 14th Street—Union Square>> I know what she wants to know from me.
In the Second’s death. In the absence of the Third. Skipped by the numeral assignation of my lineage. Breathing the provenance of voice. We readers of. In. The governance of being. I am First. The last mile is squealing before movement in four slotted tones up and one tone down. We’re moving now. And that’s it.
Andrew E. Colarusso is Editor in Chief of the Broome Street Review.