The day opens like a face, sorry, flower. I croak, wipe some other life from my eye, treat my body like it’s nothing. It’s nothing. I am starring in a movie called stamina. Rarely do I fail to understand my role, although I flounder at specifics. By the fish counter I cannot pick a fillet. The man adjusts his gloves, a lobster changes angle. Tonight I am swinging my fish hips. I make grooves in the city by walking the same route. In the beginning I believed in the persistence of time, the endurance of one moment. Still, it is warm in autumn. I suppose this will change soon. What will we do when it snows. Did we ever survive, even once. But I am dramatic; there are birch trees in Manhattan, summer dresses in September. The sides of buildings are singing. No one is born alone. I am ashamed to say I’m here again, thumbing bugs against the wall. Awake to the taste of sodium. A ringing in my ears. I want to dine at the banquet where we eat soft parcels full of spinach, where there is nice wine and satisfaction. Nothing terrible lurks outside our great and meady hall. The night is not a warning. The flood is not a lesson. To my left, the jester kisses his lover on the mouth. Soon they’ll escape to the parlor. Steady hands and ringed fingers thickly cut a wedge of cheese.
Nina Reljic, a writer from London, is currently a poetry MFA candidate at Columbia. Her work is published or forthcoming in Banshee, The Tangerine, Manchester Review, and New Ohio Review.