Blinding Lights

A neon red light buzzes and flickers in a room that’s too small to be a walk-in closet. Click. Red is drowned out by a strobe of white. Shit, my eyes! Oh, sorry. Men are cramped in the room, surrounding a bed covered with a blue sheet; a woman lays there naked from the waist up. Her face is a delicate oval with skin of light brown caramel. Strands of shoulder-length hair that’s black as her dilated pupils fall to her sides disheveled. Her face carries a smile that’s starting to give the faintest hint of a grin. I hate it when they do that. Do what? Smile. Fucking rigor mortis. Click. A glassy stare shines like two lonely stars for a second before going dark again. There’s a small gaping hole at the center of her forehead surrounded by a purple bruise. Under her head, a dark red stain has spread and soaked over the blue sheets. Poor girl got a .38 kiss, not even two hours ago, judging from the body. Third one this week. Someone had lit a cigarette, mingling the stench of smoke, blood and a tinge of burnt flesh. Click. White over red, red over blue. Click, click, click. Someone call the body movers, sending a live one for cold storage; she’s beginning to stink.

Sweat trickles down your chest, your body crying in fear. Run, run! Satan’s hell hounds are not far behind, looking for your blood. You feel the gun’s warmth on your hand. Another sinner cast out. But now they’re on to you. You’re out of breath. Stop, police! Out of time. Drop the gun, drop it, man! Do it now! You raise your divine instrument, you shall not go to your just reward meekly. Oh shit, fire! Flashes of light tear your body, then darkness.

Yeah, man, shit went down! I was walking on 5th when across the street a group of cops were chasing some guy inna trench coat, right? Ok, good. Yeah, they cornered the poor fucker, but instead of giving it up, the guy starting talking shit. Sumthing about God and shit, crazy talk, y’know? The pigs were shouting at him like crazy too, drop the gun, lay on the ground, all that bullshit. But he didn’t listen, cool as ice, he raises the gun. Was he gonna shoot at them? Fuck do I know? Shit. Anyhow, it was all over in a blink, man. Bam, bam, bam, lights out. Dead fucker’s on the floor leaking all over, prolly shat himself too. Cousin told me dead people do that, shit themselves. But yeah, after that cops were all like show’s over, move along. Fuck’em. Now I’m walking down the street, rain’s starting to fall over, everything’s getting wet and dirty, I had to deliver some fine Colombian flour, ya follow? Nah, you can’t have any from my stash. Anyways, shut up…where was I? Ah, yah, so I was minding my own bidness when vroooom! One inch, motherfucker. Car almost ran me over, blinded me with his fucking headlights. Jesus…I tell you, fuck this town. Pass the chips.

I Was

I spoke to the city gray

Asking for its secrets

Enshrined behind stone

They were stepped on

By feet uncaring

I drew water pure

From a fountain

Unquenchable

To drown my 

Dreams unnatainable 

I climbed a peak bare

Touched the ceiling

Of a world chained

Yet the nomadic wind

Remained ever free

I beckoned the sea without end

It came to me unrepented

The waves touched my lips

Sharing the secrets of the deep

I found my heart again there.

Mementos from Sufrida Street: Love is a Four Letter Word

“Love makes the World go round, baby!”
 
His smile was like liquorice in my head. I hated liquorice.
 
“Love’s also a bitch.”
 
The trigger offered no resistance when I pulled it. A gunpowder orgasm mixed a a cocktail of noise and lighting that filled the room. Grey and red painted a Pollock on the far brick wall.
 
One second my revulsion made man, the next, a crumpled dead thing on the floor. His face looked better now. The neon buzzing outside the room’s window drilled my head after the ringing in my ears stopped.
 
Saturday evening and nowhere to go. Love kills, baby.

Derelicts

The wound was clean, already the blood had dried. Maria looked at the palm of her hand where Carlos’s blade had cut her. She didn’t feel anything, not exactly. At the time she was high as a kite, and by the time she came down from her trip they had already bandaged her. She didn’t even need any stitches. Carlos was passed out, face down, on the ratty couch by the corner of their place. Sonuvabitch.

Maria stumbled over there, still woozy from her rush. Carlos was her fuck buddy. They weren’t dating or anything. Neither one had the emotional attachment, or the energy, for that. But it got cold in the empty derelict building they nested in, like the city rats that they were. Besides, he smelled good.

“Asshole!”

Her hand smacked the back of his shaved head hard, making it move sideways, then lay still. Carlos did not stir. Maria saw an empty syringe and a rubber band on the rotten floor boards next to the couch. She wanted to laugh at how stupid this whole mess was, but tears blinded her and she had to wipe them several times.

Bird & City

If she had to name it, Sarah felt lonely. Plain and simple. You could drop her in the middle of a busy street in a bustling metropolis, cars zooming back and forth, honking their horns, and everywhere people walking. A veritable sea of people of all shapes, sizes and colors could swallow her, and she would still be her own solitary island. 

That’s how it had always been for her. It didn’t matter how many bodies were near her. No one ever got close… and she didn’t know how to approach others. She always shuffled along with the human tide, anonymous and quiet. The little details around the city where her brief escape from the overwhelming solitude.

She would walk to work when the streets were already full of the morning shift crowds, yet she loved gazing at the skyscraper windows. They mirrored the sky no one else cared to look up at. Azure blue with pure white clouds, if she was lucky there would even be birds flying about.

Sarah felt an odd kinship with the mannequins on display at the retail windows from the shops downtown. Mute, posing, they dressed up, but never interacted with anyone, just pretended to, until the season changed and their clothes. 

Her mood would usually turn a bit brighter when she passed by an outdoor fruit market just a few blocks from the office she worked at. The vendors calling out to people, putting out their best produce in creative arrangements; if you were lucky, you could get a free slice of honeydew melon. 

It was on a batch of strawberries where she saw the sparrow trapped. It’s leg caught between boxes of strawberries. With care, Sarah lifted the box that had trapped the bird and off it went flying.

“Ah, I just got those the other day from the farm! Fresh and sweet, I’ll sell them cheap!”, an older woman wearing an apron and a Led Zeppelin tee approached from behind the stall. Sarah was starting to decline but then stopped to think about it for a brief moment.

“Give me two boxes, please. I’m treating myself today.”