the streets are running amok with thoughts of genocide; they have gone obese with memories of abuse, whippings, and lynchings, victims of the irreversible logic of history. Speech has alienated candor, and its egalitarian predilections. Language is heaped with encampments armed for random offensives amidst skyscrapers, ever sentient in air-conditioned luxury to mitigate consciousness from scenes of bristling chaos.
The nine-to-five continues to survive on a carapace of rigid smiles and breakroom chit-chat, bustling with weekend plans, and fashion critiques of the usual social-media queens. For a while, the surge of paperwork exudes a calm: indeed, an unsuspecting mutiny against bad news on the street, especially rumors of effigies and flags burned to satisfy a gluttony for defiance and symbolism. And as always, the bounciness of anonymity on crowded sidewalks after work, fornicates with diversions that make week-nights feel like weekends.
But the approaching roar of steel-wheels underground is a cue to decline invitations, for quality time at home. There are thick plots to consume, filled with winged creatures and their human slaves. After that, the news: fat with stories of escape from territories gutted by arsenals of war. And then much later, the holy hour of planning to relocate where skies are unobstructed by competing heights of glass, steel, and protests:
Perhaps it’s a scheme to recover a lost romance with astronomy in the looming immensity of a nearby forest attuned to amusements in the dark-ages of adolescence battered with raised voices and slammed doors at home. Their noise pushes lithe bodies to run amok in pursuit of delirious play and abandon.
M. Leland Oroquieta has been a library page, draftsman, cashier, stray cat, and other things he can’t remember, while reading for a humanities course at university. He lives on the edge of a valley, near an ocean. His work has appeared or forthcoming in Cricket Online Review, Eunoia Review, Ink Sweat & Tears, Local Nomad: An Online Journal of Writing & Art, and Origins Literary Journal.