Thursday, August 2, 2007


in the summer I lean over the balcony railing that rises fifteen feet above the stinking chicago alley where bins of trash stew in the late afternoon. flies gather, swirl and flap their wings frantically before they lay eggs in bananas, orange rinds and heels of bread. against the forrest green bins something catches my eye, a shining silver rectangle about three feet across and two feet tall. i move my head to the left and to the right to manipulate the reflection that glares only at very specific angles. it is a national geographic map of indonesia, torn out of the magazine, unfolded, flattened and framed behind thin plexiglass. the names of the many islands and the seas in between sound like expensive coffees, troublesome with complicated staggering vowel sounds. i pick it up and carry it back to my apartment where i hang it on my wall. the gem that has floated in from the streets.