NYU Black Renaissance Noire Fall 2013 - Page 56

[from]…in at the door Clouds. Different shapes and sizes. Hiding the horizon. —Chaka Khan 54 —twilight This August heat was a physical thing. An object. Urban, alive. And at night, the city arches its back, its eyes go to slits, front limbs stretch out. The claws are invisible and so are most of the scars. The heat eases as the day gives up to the motion where everything that’s not a scar rests. The scars take over and attempt to redeem the day. A telephone pole begs back the cleat, its divots. Things no river could forgive vanish as if they haven’t so much disappeared as slipped up inside of wherever or whomever they are for a while. It’s like the way you fold a piece of paper in half, trace your thumbnail BRN-FALL-2013.indb 54 down the crease until it’s sharp enough that the missing half of the page fills the room until there’s nothing else to breathe. They say a person experiences a rush of pure elation at the exact moment of drowning. The day drowns in the dark. Pieces of this elation come alive. Parcels of fugitive heat. Invisible streams of it move around. Invisible streams of elation move about in the streets, pause without pausing on stoops. It’s as if all the promises of invisibility exist without the terrors. The terrors come later, of course; enough to break a bent beam of light. but for a half hour or so around sunset A novel by ´ ED PAVLIC after a hot day, it’s pure drowning. That’s how we know she got off the bus to go see Shame Luther at twilight in this place he’d found to live where elation seemed to hang out longer than it did elsewhere. Where life was wound into what happened on the missing half of the page. It’s why she arrived by descending degrees. Her presence terraced. It’s why she was already gone (Adonis : “Too far gone, ain’t no way back”) by the time she found she couldn’t leave. Had never left. To unfold. The sky glows overhead, the orange clouds of a late summer night in Chicago. The hiss as the bus kneels down. It dips its bumper for a sip of the huge puddle leftover from the afternoon’s gushing fire hydrants on three of the four corners at the intersection. It’s just a few world-changing blocks east from the corner of 63rd and King Drive, a few minutes’ walk into fiction. As she’d learn later, a few minutes walk into heroin; there was no place in the city like it and no place in the city was close. No police of place, fences buried deep 9/13/13 12:48 AM