Walking Against Traffic

Fixed Window 3 by Mark A. Harrison

Passing effect: The effect of passing through things
– Leaves, hair, branches, hearts –
Equal and opposite reactions;
We pretend that contact is only temporary,
that everything always
only passes by, and through
– and yet –
even Jupiter’s tiny moons
affect the giant’s gravitational field.

Gravity: A force so weak, you can defeat it
with a fridge magnet, or a piece of tape;
– and yet –
Even the weakest forces can surprise you,
how they keep coming back;
The persistence of the everyday:
You can jump up, but you’ll always land.

All these fleeting melodramas,
the private riots, the secret rebellions,
a universe of stories unfolding inside
this infinite travelling picture show;
one might call it
a kind of madness.

…and yet…
Sometimes, for one suspended moment,
as we stand on the brink
that little voice in the back
of our mind, daring us
to take that one small step
out into the air, we remember
some future day,
the one we’ve waited for, all this time
when everything becomes clear
and we know at last
that flight is, finally,
possible.

T.H.

Choice: Part 2

Image: A Slight of Day by Mark A Harrison

II

Winter came, a shock of snow on the trees, white against unseasonable green.  Darkness had become habitual, and so the light blinded him at first.  There was a hint of sweet decay in the air, blankets of leaves settling after the rain.  There had been fingernail scratches in the stone, shining blue-white against the black. 

He’d been given a watch as a child, its letters bright green in the unlit bedroom.  For a long time, he believed anything that glowed was radioactive, and had the potential to bestow superpowers.  He also knew these things could only happen by accident.  And so he willed himself to forget what he knew.  It was, after all, the only reason he was standing here now, blinking and shading his eyes against the glare.  To return to the living world, one need only forget that one is dead. 

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