Pittsburgh City Plague

He stopped in the middle of the parking lot and told me to get out. I had no answers and he no patience. I got out slowly and deliberately, trying to be the biggest asshole I could. I pushed his car door open with my boot and left with a cigarette hanging out of my mouth.

My teeth were clenching harder than ever and I wish they would just crack already and fall out. Windy and cold with a wet ground- no one else was out except one young man.  He looked like he was trying to get somewhere.

I ran up the stairs, all three flights of concrete and crossed the street to the fence.  Black metal lined the bluff and I went to my favorite bench. Beads of water sat on it. I used my scarf to wipe it off.  It got caught on the splinters and threads were pulling out. But I just kept wiping until it was all dry.

If November hadn’t taken their leaves then the wind was doing it now.  Their branches wouldnt stop talking.  My cigarette ran away before I had the chance to step on it. It found shelter in a pile of dry leaves. I took out another one.

The Hollywood lights they brought from California were on the city’s yellow bridge. I’ve never seen it so bright up here. I think it was the black river and the shadowed hill across from my cliff. It blocked out half the sky, full with trees and dotted with houses. Not a star tonight. No room for both the sky’s lights and ours. Just a moon struggling through the clouds. Smoky ones tonight.

Tonight the city was loud. Tonight the machines made the noise. Tonight I was alone for a mile.

Tonight my angel fell from those smoky clouds. She landed in the black river and I never saw her in the sky again.  There wasn’t a splash; the water just accepted her.  She disappeared.  She dissipated.  No blood. No flesh. Just drowning and rest on the riverbed. I never got to tell her that I was going to visit this weekend.

Break break break. My teeth. Please.

My jaw never forgave me. Damn it.

Damn it. I killed myself in front of the river.  For good this time it is.  I cut my body and poisoned my stomach ten thousand times in my head.  It all seemed too painful and I couldn’t take any more of that.  A coward. So this time I finally died. A being of flesh and a structure of bones. The asphalt doesn’t care about it.

Neither does the black river or the black sky tonight.  They won’t take any of the material. They’ll only keep the soul of things. The goodness the real the life the ethereal.  I walked back down the stairs.

He called back to say I’m sorry. I didn’t accept. I had no words. My angel was gone.  He said goodnight three times and I waited for the line to disconnect.

She washed up on the river shore.  White flesh with a bit of blue from that black water.  Her wings were soggy and sad. Shrunken and ruined.  Dirty from the river beach. I tried to peel her lids up with my fingers but her eyes wouldn’t open. I just stood over her and looked.  I was dead too anyway.


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