Crawling along the sun baked rocks, the centipede weaves in and out of the mind-numbing heat, keeping antennae perked towards any signs of life (of food).
There’s no meal for it here, or anywhere.
It dances its legs close to the ocean, cleaning itself dirty with stinking, wet waves. The dead water beats along the coast line, empty waves singing a repose to a world that once moved.
It’s trying to find its way home, although “home” continues to change as the world continues to crumble.
Finally back, the centipede scurries quickly towards shelter — home, in the ear of a shriveled human corpse. Nesting on the flesh, raisin in the sun.
If you look closely
you can see the city move.
Ants, crawling along the sidewalks,
that slip into streets,
that fold into hills and buildings;
Each part building on top of each other,
a palimpsest of concrete and brick,
creating an abstract mural,
blurring the lines of time together.
Is he cursing at his god?
He slings a slurry of swear words to the heavens,
gradually increasing his passion as he continues to curse.
He’s visibly drunk,
motions slurred and unwieldly,
like a baby learning how to move for the first time.
Greasy grey hair hangs thinly around his rosy cheeks,
but I’m too ashamed to look at him,
too afraid to provoke,
so I don’t catch the color of his exasperated, almost pleading eyes.
And he’s begging for what?
For a god to answer his anger?
For a friend to help fuel his thoughtless fury?
to meet the gaze of his eyes?
I can’t help but empathize with his soul shattering, empty rage.
But I can’t help,
so I file off the train.
When the air is hot,
hanging over your body like wet laundry,
the rats come out to play.
At first they’re a visage,
a hallucination at the corner of your vision.
Zoop! — There goes one,
diving into a horde of trash,
Bop! — There goes another,
squeezing between moldy building bricks.
As the lights of the city pollute the heavens,
the rats roll out in droves,
clumsily stumbling over each other like drunken fools,
searching for sewage,
searching for stink.