ANTICIPATION

CONLEY LOWRANCE
 
 
The scene: rain falling in a park, the sky like gauze stretched across a quivering thigh. Two trees, half dead, a gazebo. At the other end of the pond, we watch a figure: a fragile man wading slowly towards the water’s center—his eyes nothing but two silver coins.

 

*

 

“But think of this,” you say. “In the distance, we can make out a church, a skyscraper, the sound of ten thousand mice dreaming ten thousand dreams.” The rain has condensed to a fog though the surface of the pond still ripples like a mirage. “But these trees are just papier-mâché; the grass & these weeds nothing more than polyethylene replicas.”

 

*

 

It is dusk before we see him reemerge: the man pulling plastic flowers from his mouth. As he walks, he recites syllables—meaningless sounds, words that fall like cadavers on the pond’s surface. Only when he reaches the water’s edge does he stops—& around us, the rain picks up, as if in a film.
 
 

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