10-Line Tuesday

March 25, 2014

oxygen
 
In her apartment, a 5th floor walkup on the edges of the Lower
East Side, I could hear the whistle-hiss of the radiators. It was spring,
technically, but the forecast admitted, with a twinge of defeat, more
snow coming mid-week. She opened the door embarrassed, crying,
her body spent from the long season and a weariness in her heart
that she feared was permanent, a drought of the muscle necessary
for survival in this dense, relentless city. We said, “But this is what
it means to be alive.” How a certain retreat, structureless and shadowy,
lets the oxygen back in. How roots grow better in the dark. And we sat, quiet,
as heat flowered from the walls and the room filled with sounds of the busy street.