pages The Black Pool

by Steve Armour

Published in Issue No. 137 ~ October, 2008

The blue light winks and whirs as I sit on the nighttime road. It ticks and whirs, and I lean back against the police car and see water dripping from the truck’s tires and pooling on the pavement. Rain pops against the road and patters on the truck. It pools over the grit and gravel of the hard black road. Roads are hard and rocky when you sit on them. They aren’t slippery, not when you sit on them, not something you could ever slide across. They bite into you when you sit on them, and water pools around you when they are wet. It pools black around you, and I see that. I see that, the black water pooled around her there, her hair tucked under her bike helmet. It was. It was tucked under her bike helmet but now it pools around her head like water, the black hair in the black water and pooled around her head there. She lies as she lies in bed sometimes. “It’s good, my flat chest,” she says sometimes, “I can sleep on my stomach.” Sometimes she will sleep on her stomach and her hair will pool around her head just that way. Sometimes it will do just that. And I have seen that. I have seen that. Her hand sometimes lies like that, sometimes when she is sleeping. With her fingers curled, and her thumb tucked. I have seen that too. It’s the foot the wrong way, though, the leg, the way it bends there, and the thing that’s wrong about the hips, and the flat places. It’s the glass scattered with the cracked orange plastic, the red plastic, and the spokes bent out, and the broken helmet. It’s the blue light blinking and ticking, on and off. And spreading around her there, the black, black pool.

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Steve Armour is a jazz musician living in New York City, who has published fiction and essays in ANOTHER CHICAGO MAGAZINE, RIVENDELL, and KIOSK. He was recently awarded a full scholarship to the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.