Afterward (后序后)


What is this line but breathless length the sun assembles through the trees? The geodesic light?    Bramblings descend in clusters and bounce    tenderly when they land.     On our ride their breeze brushes my skin.    I am light with the air I was just shouldered by so much unused Styrofoam    mounted to a scooter.


We ascend the façade of the Lavazza café to find    a plane of grass on which two men draw figure eights in the sky with their kites. They play the breeze in cadence with dump truck percussion and you say it is new-wave opera.    The story is of the phoenix’ descent into a peony    a fuchsia brocade on red silk    a lucky red button    unlatched from an old woman’s collar.    She sings metrical, isochronous hinge, auxiliary cleaves    immutable blue below a green valley.    In the new glass city    men are stapling insulation made of corn. The husked hulls we see, the shackled glass doors, the suggestion of coffee, prepare this bird to fly above specular reflection.    Into a diffuse sunrise, lift us into the hollow world.


Grecian busts press glass walls near the house paint market. We pass the marriage market. Below it, the wedding dress market. A grandmother’s job is so simple.    She sits in waiting, imagines what gems that market bestows. Lace princesses and bejeweled trumpets hang high to air. There are veils and red shoes and silver shoes    but no blue shoes.    It is a market of lonely souls.    There is an insect market and a bird market.    A market for giant woks. In the eyeglass market blind boys soak our optic lenses until they see.    The Taiwanese Night Market closed, or never was.    Of course there is also a sequins market. In the fabric market nylon is woven into cashmere.    In the pearl market watch    the vendor, now a magician, scrape away at your opalescent facade.


In his printed manuscript.    In his aerial vesper transport the sprawl a ghost cannot follow. When I am found tomorrow    I am brand new, bedecked with sequins, a moon princess selling split onions.    When chickens cease laying eggs    you carry them back to the grated house.    Pile of eggplants, watermelons sprout suddenly     I will buy things in a warehouse    especially stockings    and bump-its in the markets—


I am a terrible bargainer.    Somewhere between    the market for new ideas and a market of superb dreams,    is a market of superior goods,    a market    of barges and cranes. In the market for people who want to try doing something different everyday, we only drink local tea. You smell of flowers and taste of earth. We have been looking at our own map. I learn a few good things    should be carried    like the child who wants a pillow but hasn’t yet learned to say pillow so we bring him to the puffy wall        and he chooses what his eyes register as lime green.


He is the future city, the inhabitable voice that never asks did you remember to take your keys with you when you left home?    There is a new row of condos coming together by the freeway. Becoming white noise is falling asleep hearing I am never alone    and waking to ghosts who are less afraid of corners.    I graphed more and more lines in a circle on a sheet labeled earth    to draw the home    I am somewhere, waiting to be—

Jen Hyde holds degrees from the Pratt Institute and NYU. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Sink Review, The Volta, Likewise Folio and Drunken Boat. She lives in Brooklyn.