There are some things that are meant to be seen, but never felt.
Sensations we understand come first by knowing their presence lurking in alleyways like forgotten trash left to dwell in between those triumphant, tall buildings. We understand their necessity, yet we ignore them. The human impulse to understand gets thrown aside and we accept the things we see, the gutter people, the litter, the signs of life we don’t even look down to see.
The way raindrops skip against puddles. The way smoke from fall cigarettes mingles with clouds as its welcomed to stay.
The way a ten foot piece of rope can be used to disguise our understanding of each other. To create chattel, to hang the people we refuse to understand.
To pull each foot tighter and tighter around a thin, slender throat, feeling the rough fibers coming undone and creating friction against skin, the veins and tendons clamoring for understanding and growing at their upset, the rope clinging to rope, the fibers clinging to skin, the pressure widening eyes.
And for once you understand what death feels like. Sudden, gruesome death. Both its inception and its aftermath, its beginning and its end.
Death knocks on the door and by the time you’ve let it in it’s already left. Finished. Moving on.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it stare at me from across the street, or linger in my cup of coffee, breathing its promise to find me in thin, wispy smoke. I can’t tell you why we’ve never met. I can’t tell you why I hold my breath.But I’ve seen him laugh, and I fear for the day that rope is around my neck. Because I always fear the inevitable, I just wish I knew when.