an excerpt from “No Man’s Brooklyn”
Remember when we were kids and we’d sometimes have sleepovers and listen to the dark together? That’s what you called it, Anya, listening to the dark.
Sometimes we’d pretend to be camping. We’d set up a tent and eat candy and look up at the glow-in-the-dark stars on my ceiling, and the planets and meteors too. The stars were yellow and the meteors were red and the planets were all different colors. And you’d say let’s be quiet and listen to the dark and we’d listen for a little while but you could never keep quiet for long and you’d start asking me questions like what did the dark sound like to me and what was I thinking but my favorite part were those intervals of silence when we were not only listening to the dark but also breathing it and perhaps dreaming it. At least that’s how it felt to me.
And it was because of you Anya that I started naming different types of dark, listing them. Warm-dark, cave-dark, void-dark, womb-dark, sleep-dark, Eros-dark, blank-dark, siege-dark. And then there’s that anonymous dark that gets inside your head and behind your eyes and coils around your lungs and constricts your breathing. There is also curse-dark, which casts a prolonged spell, a pall. And then there’s lonely, but naming it doesn’t help. Not in the same way.
Now that you’re gone Anya, and I’m still talking to you, I wonder what kind of dark this is. Communion-dark, veil-dark?
We used to listen to the dark together as kids and now I talk to the dark with the hopes of hearing from you again. Echo-dark. Or better yet, Anya-dark. An entire category of dark devoted exclusively to you. How do you feel about that?
© 2019 John Biscello