local_library Conversation and a Rooftop

by Jason Stratton

Published in Issue No. 66 ~ November, 2002

From here the freeway
is yellow and quiet.
A line between buildings.
I can’t imagine the
sound it makes.

It is hard to be
alone anymore, no?
I can’t see it as right,
idleness that is.
Being alone is not being idle.
Well, I don’t know what
idle or alone is
for you, but they don’t really
seem to match up.

Do you think she
can hear us from downstairs?
We are right above her room
after all and open windows aren’t
very soundproof.
I’m sure she is sleeping.
Do you have another cigarette?

Look at stars.
They are still there.
Moving like a clock hand,
vibrating in their own way.
Up our street,
can you see?
A car is coming over the hill,
it slows for a moment,
lights dim with the movement.

We are like that.
Moving, slowly, almost
stopping but always going.
I . . . think I know
what you mean. It’s . . .

The Bardahl sign winking
in the hollow of
those two hills:
add it to your oil
add it to your gas.

Ticking time,
counting away the steam rising.
This sets the importance
of a night.

I wish I had a roman candle
to send up light,
the sky needs something,
don’t you think?
Wouldn’t that be perfect?

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Jason Stratton lives in Seattle, Washington.