Mariah Carey Can’t Live Without You

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calm body of water
Photo by travis blessing on

You spend the morning wandering in circles. From disorienting darkness to the pink of sunrise, you extend “Good Morning” to your neighbors, these morning people who, as you, satellite the park.

Because it is November and the middle of the semester, and because your left vocal cord is still injured, the chill air makes you sound as if you are Bernie Sanders’s eldest brother.

Your students daily ask, Are you okay? They’re certain you are sick with something relentless.

Perhaps you should resort to a friendly wave into dawn.

“Mariah Carey can’t live without you,” the man at the next table whispered, singing low and long. You worried that his condition might be contagious, that you might break into singing.

Whispering, singing, eating spicy foods, these are all crimes against your well-being. So, too, is your occupation.

You have so many stories, so little voice. So many stories.


A Walk in the River

By René Magritte

Translated by Jo Levy

A few companions had been doing too much talking beside the purple water. The troupe, panic-stricken, ran away, and I found I was incapable of following them. I stepped into the water and the depths turned luminous; faraway ferns could just be seen. The reflections of other dark plants stopped them rising to the surface. Red threads took on all sorts of shapes, caught in the invisible and doubtless powerful currents. A plaster-cast woman advancing caused me to make a gesture which was to take me far.


* How are you, some days, forced to wander into the purple water?

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