Smoke Nine

Surrounded by rain. Nowhere to go. Rain sheets all evening. Loose laces in my boots. The sirens stop at about the same time as the feed dies out. I take a shower then, in the dark, and leave the extraction fan off. Great clouds of steam bloom in the recess and the mirror. Raining myself clean, deleting transience. The urban heat falls from me, and ceases its attentions. I’m standing in the bathroom drying my hair with one of your blue towels. You’d packed the other one, along with your boots. The way you stood there that morning, drying yourself in the bedroom, deciding which jacket to wear. The hooded parka, standard issue. All-weather boots, and a studded belt. Electric. The glint of subway animators in your shades, in the hot blast interior of the shuttle. Just then the power went off too. I stand breathing there, in the curfew of long distance desire.

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