Jacob Lawrence, Wounded Man (1968)
October 25, 2002:
Market Street sidewalk, late afternoon. Angry light, angry shadows. Tall man with clenched
fists swims through the crowds like a shark among shoals of minnows.
Failure. Ineptitude of those empowered. Two years, and the outcome is that evil people are
enriched while good people sleep under their desks like chattel.
"I'll kill you. Motherfucker. I'll kill you. I'll find you."
Voice of sorrow and pain.
Bike messenger on the ground, back against a lamppost, face to the sky, blood streaming
from nose and ears. All the tired metaphors: streams of blood, rivers of blood. Red-orange,
bright, thin, angry.
You help him pull his t-shirt off, press it against his flowing nose, hold your hand
behind his head, wait together for the paramedics while his blood stains the sidewalk.
As he was riding a stranger punched him in the face. Spun down with no warning, sent him
sprawling head-first into the pavement, disappeared into the shoals of minnows like a predator
in the sea. At the precise moment you were swimming in your own rage.
Your head spins. Solipsism. You caused this. Your anger moved a stranger's fist into
another stranger's face.
Dinner. Fish. Glassy dead eye stares at you and says: murderer.
Shall I project a world?
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© 2002-2013 Mark Phillips.
All rights reserved.
This writing is fiction. Please don't confuse it with reality.