All that is Bitter Breathes
Audra H. Sep 30, 2008
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You can smell it a block away: the piss, the shit, the bodies of a dozen kids stretched thin veins thick with IV drugs. This is the Mens’ Place, a converted church once abandoned and now resurrected with homeless desperation. I crawl in past the broken glass, crippled within the front doorframe, onto cardboard and insulation torn from walls that have been raped for their copper wire. The entrance gives way to a large room, with crumbling pillars and smashed bottles, cradling the carcass of a piano.
My misery pulls my bones, pushes my fingers onto the keys - half of them stick when pressed into the body of the keyboard. Light is fading around me; and the dust of ruin visibly breathes across streaks of day, puncturing the darkness that reigns within the hollow, gasping room. A chair finds its way beneath my tired eyes; I drag the lost animal towards the piano, its legs clacking against the cold tile floor.
The notes naturally form, spill into my beaten skull and bloom. The room begins to reach out; it tongues a spell with a tired throat, as dirty kids stumble thru the door or down the stairs tumbling to the piano's feet.
“Fuck you silence!” a girl with knots for hair screams and she rises, a 40 oz in one hand and a crack-pipe in the other. A dog growls next to her before starting into a waltz as his disintegrating leash chases his heels like a rattlesnake. A bottle of Merlot kills itself, bleeding bright as it cries to the floor.
Jessup crashes into the room, “Guys, FUCK, fucking shut up! The cops will hear us!”
A flashlight stumbles over his face, his shoes; he stands hunched with wide-eyes and a gaping mouth. The crumbling shoes on his feet march, fully of scabbed and scarred legs, to the piano where a candle tears a hole in the converging darkness.
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