Todd gives me permission to sleep after Polish vodka shots, mashed guitars
and mutual musical respect at four in the morning. Sleeping bag
on pad and floor, I’ve forgotten how to sleep in the city. Drips, footsteps,
firetrucks freak by the window like stories of neighbors:
about a month ago, a big bang ripped T from sleep, so he got up
and peered out in the hallway where a Muslim man said sorry, sorry.
The man’s family vanished before light, before the cops came by
and questioned the building with silence for answers.
Drips, footsteps, furious voices on the street, I wish a night
of drunken punk rock shows had deafened me.
My stomach whines, reads the signs from headlights rolling by:
five hours before eggs, toast, waffle and long ride home.
DL Pravda is a teacher, musician and explorer. His work has recently appeared in American Dissident, Aji, Apricity, Cedar Creek Review, Dead Mule, Hamilton Stone Review, Jazz Cigarette, Poetica, and Vine Leaves. He teaches at Tidewater Community College in Chesapeake, VA and also fronts a band called The Dunes (www.thedunes.us).
Originally published in the FALL 2018 edition of The Helix.