red light

18 Jun

at the light i fumble with:
radio volume, frequencies, mobile phone
sliding out of pocket, change,
slimy folds of skin sticking to cornea
natural instincts to slide the car into gear
and plow through the busy intersection.

at the light
just next to the faded sign
indicating public transit
stands a woman a mother
looks Peruvian or some descendant
of some Sun-God from the Andes
an Incan whose footprints have been erased
by ignorance, exploitation, and extraction.
she is short
and holding a baby boy no
not a baby, a toddler boy
with weird hairstyle
short and long at the same time
and next to her a man;
her father maybe
also short but with a large belly.

they wait
and look down the hill simultaneously
toward something that isn’t coming
or that is late
the woman holds the boy
and the boy interlaces his fingers
and looks at: the bus stop sign
pierced by a bullet, grandpa, traffic stopped,
the man inside the car fumbling
with the radio knobs on the dash,
the fast food restaurant
emanating mouthwatering smoke
from its chimney.
all three, descendants of ancient indigenes
in a strange land of ugly civilization
peppered by all you can eat Chinese food buffets
and manual work,
all three of them now look in separate directions
and then summoned by some unheard signal
down the hill, simultaneously,
toward a stubborn, tardy bus.

all three look unhappy;
even the toddler with interlaced fingers
like an old sage out of his magic bottle.
unhappy people in an unhappy country.
and the horn blasts with impunity.
i’m the only one left
stopped at the green light
stopping traffic behind me
which has already begun to trickle around
like a line of ants emitting alarm pheromones
to the ones behind

there’s nothing to do
it’s too late.
i turn on my hazard lights,
which seems to calm the line behind me;
aaaah, he’s in trouble
the flashing indicates
and excuses my lack of concentration.
aaah, poor man
and it’s raining as well.
they trickle around me armed with missions
and i don’t know why i won’t go;
i won’t put the car into gear and go.
i just stare at the wet Incas
staring down the hill
cursing their tardy bus.


4 Responses to “red light”

  1. (S)wine 18/06/2009 at 7:04 AM #

    audio on the dump site:

  2. Rachel 18/06/2009 at 3:46 PM #

    This one is really going to stick to my ribs.

  3. JAC 19/06/2009 at 10:43 AM #

    I like it. Combining it with audio notes is a bit public radio, which works for me.
    I definitely get the mood.

  4. (S)wine 19/06/2009 at 1:03 PM #

    thanks guys. i won’t do that anymore, the combination w/the audio. just trying something different. but glad it worked.

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