by Tammy T. Stone
She didn’t talk on the phone anymore. The phone was still installed, but it sat on a little stand on a faded plastic chair she found at the back of a Mexican restaurant. The phone gathered dust she never removed. The alleyway at the back of the Mexican restaurant, which she walked through once a week on the way to an appointment, was full of concrete and the colours of dead regal things. Wires and electrical ditties sprouted everywhere, from porous brick walls to the cavernous bottoms of doorways and crown molding like veins that pulsed the sun itself.
Some were cut and hung limp without this kind of life in it and when she saw these sprigs of former circuitry she thought the city must have died.
(In a dead city there is no room for phone calls.)
A bird came to sit on her windowsill, the one in the kitchen with its yellow walls and junk pile of dried out spices. She didn’t use her spices anymore because once her eyes started to well up
at everything she saw outside on her weekly walk, she realized she couldn’t smell or taste anymore. Her throat was closed. Her eyes had become wide gaping receptacles and the world knew all about it. Sometimes she thought the world flocked to her because she was the last one to see.
Every colour and shape forced themselves into her until she screamed and threw up and had nothing left inside of her that was originally her own. The dead city was deep inside her now. The bird that sat on her window wanted to poke her until she bled the city back into life.