Friday, July 1, 2011

Cuidad Juarez


Forensics by Forrest

Last time—or the one last time of what can be an overlong career in this city after I arrived in forensics— when I saw them working a scene, the two officers responding were already digging into each other over what remained on the pavement. An embrace between brave women with a loaded weapon, I can imagine, is not easily accomplished, much less seen often. If one of them believes a gun is lighter than it appears because of fruitless duty, it seldom has opportunities to be used to her heart’s content.

***

Cages by Bill

Spring is nearly over the hill, the hot turning us out, like zombies, weaving through the night unable to sleep. Another cup of coffee further from the backs of eyelids. So many cups now its starting to give off that sour feeling in the stomach, but it tastes too good. It tastes too good because it still tastes at all. It might be the best cup of coffee ever. Remember in Jaws, when Quinn’s talking about the cages, “Cage goes in the water, you go in the water. Shark's in the water. Our shark.” Well we got sharks up here too.

***

Headline by Alan

The bridge was devastated. When the bomb detonated, a family of seabirds dispersed as if they were roses at the end of a wedding ceremony, the church doors now completely flung open. It was a sunny day. The sound was deafening.

The officers arrived quickly and pointed their weapons at the thought of anything suspicious. They became little sad hummingbirds maneuvering through a garden of flowers. Sweetness. Nectar. Dear god. How we need to feed ourselves with answers, targets for our desperate stomachs.

The smoke never cleared. The smoke never clears. Occasionally, we come across each other in a room in the dark and we fumble for the right questions, which (like hummingbirds) always seem to elude the logic of our collective imaginations.

***

Backstory by Johanna

I first noticed you across the room, your sway and swagger. I knew from the way you wore your hair in wings that you were from the butterfly clan. The more my attraction to you grew, the more I avoided you. One day, in a moment of bravery, I opened the door for you. “Thank you,” you said and smiled just enough that you might be flirting but, of course, I wouldn't dare assume so.

“My privilege,” I said. I meant to say, “my pleasure,” but it came out wrong. I imagined our dance, how sweet, our knees kissing.

After the incident, I saw you there looking like you were trying hard not to cry and I went to you without thinking. I was a stranger to you. You held me anyway.

***

Escape by Lyle

I’m sorry. This one escaped me. Escapes. Escapes me. Is in the very process of escape. Always with this sense of not being something, somewhere. If only for a minute it is this one. Just like a bullet. Escapes into the chamber from fingers. Escapes into the barrel and then out of the barrel and then escapes. I’m sorry: my very soul escapes with that bullet long since gone.