Walking Hopper – a prose poem

At Irving and Sheridan, cabs, buses and cars bled with a scab of gray belch low in gelid airs. Above, a draught of light spilled out of the Redline, spilled lanky into the coffee of the night, filigree cream in the eye. It was then that I saw her, strobed in amber as the train banged itself taut and fleeing. I watched her decay, velvet down the platform stairs. I stood gum on the sidewalk before ticked-out commands. Walk. Don’t Walk. Walk. Stirring a light thick with the bitters of spent grease, she poured into the street and came toward me, longstriding. It was then I saw her, tepid and far. I no longer heard the flickering scrape of the El, nor did I smell the burnt hashbrowns of the New Crystal flickering day-old soup in neon and steam. I heard only a vague exhausted wind, smelled only the lurid musk of Obsession and rot as she passed beyond the veil of my brim. It was there, at that moment, I walked Hopper for the first time. It was there, at Irving and Sheridan, I became an overcoat, a thin dime, and a short time.

Image: Bruno Kelzer on Unsplash

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