|Any street in Los Angeles, CA
The numbing regularity of tent cities and my half sandwich (pastrami and coleslaw with Russian dressing on rye) wrapped in white paper, a grim and stupid offering that shreds the heart.
A Korean woman in a black bra and waist-high underpants scrubbed every inch (literal) of my body the other day. Face down, she said and shoved a folded-up towel under my cheek. Turn on side, she said and lay a steadying hand on my naked hip. I opened my eyes, ran my finger over the tiny gray balls and shreds on the table. She didn't say it but I knew it. Skin. My skin. Dead skin. I was a baby lying there, tended. My skin is olive and free of wrinkles, speckled with moles (I hate that word) yet soft, smooth, a place where a heart can slip out of its hiding and rest. I open doors and windows. I risk everything.
In the universe there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in-between there are doors. William Blake said that. He also said Love seeketh not itself to please, nor for itself hath any care, but for another gives its ease, and builds a Heaven in Hell's despair.
I read past my bedtime, closing doors and windows, deep into Trollope, the tedium of it, then silence, the heart's slow beat, sleep.