I am as unmated as a stray, liberated by flight and put to bad use—floating beyond the back of beyond. This is not unlike the outer space that follows good breathing. It has been a year without a recognizable kitchen, without the gurgle of the cat fountain, without the wet sound of the radiator interrupting all good sleep, without the steep drop from the bedroom window, without crosstalk in bed. Unmoored, I am trapped without your night voice. The half kitchen with electric griddle is no travesty, but it reinforces bad habits: hardly standing, drinking too much, eating from the cold cases at the liquor store. Against all good advice I take to the streets for air. I go to buy cigarettes. Flags pop in the wind. I sit against a chair fastened with a bicycle lock to a parking meter. She tells me I am saying Angela Merkel’s name wrong. She is laughing. She does not want to talk about politics. The look is one of remorse. We are silent before the sound of a fistfight moves like a storm across the asphalt. We are in its path.
Bryan Price’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Manhattanville Review, Menacing Hedge, Portland Review (online), and Posit. He lives and teaches in the suburbs of southern California where he writes about time, memory, utopia, and its opposite.