The sound of a crescendo stalls stale in my lungs. Capsules litter the floor like pebbles, & as I step, they embed themselves in my soles—my lips salivate at the sight, & with eyes melting like a greedy child I finger my fedora, felt mixing with my skin as I press it to my face. I drink the faded perfumes woven through the fabric until I’m laying across the floor—I’m Elizabeth Taylor!—I tremble as men press their palms insatiably against the door. They press & caress & finally the room crumbles—collapses under its own weight like an eagle’s nest & I’m left sprawled in the ash.
Children spin & swirl through the dust, their Peter-Pan-limbs flailing graceful & smooth. I call to them, lips heavy with pills & sunflower seeds: fresh beautiful things! cherubs! dance across the pavement & let me worship your fading freckles! Costumes ill-fitted & tattered they flock to me—fold into my arms & wither like daisies. We shiver at the shrieks of a squirt gun that echo through the scene & I trace the chin of each Shirley Temple that sits so devout on my knee. With delicate fingers stroking their teeth, they mouth silently, pressing “Je est un autre” into the hollow air.