THE WORLD IS JUST AN ADDRESS
I say nothing when you wake up your son who is sleeping in his boxers on a blow-up mattress in the guest room. “Guess that's not yours tonight” you slur and I follow you up the stairs to the roof. On wet lawn chairs we cradle our tumblers of vodka between our knees and I attempt to light a limp cigarette. You watch me like an actor out of work, black matinee eyes blacker with night, fingers full of pantomime as your mouth tries to sell me the punch line. “You're fearless,” you say, “I'm touched, really,” and I think I know this story, the set-up is so clear; your wife asleep downstairs, the frying pan still hot with butter, my brain numb from expensive cocktails, your foot wagging in a bruised shoe. The hotel balcony over looked the U.N and under umbrellas you showed me where Truman Capote lived. Smelling the river I imagined a great ship sailing in between the high risers, anchors smashing co-op windows, the mermaid mast-head piercing the trees like hot air balloons. “It's like we are in it and not above it,” you said and I know, as I bite the filter and regret the rain, that these matches like our knees in the kitchen refuse to strike and let out one tiny desperate spark for fear of burning down the house.
What Can I Do When Everything is On Fire?
Antonio Lobo Antunes