(Excerpt from No Man’s Brooklyn.)
Anya melts onto her back.
Lie down with me okay?
I lie down.
Our sides are touching, barely, but enough.
You can’t see many stars tonight, Anya says.
Anya points out an airplane, a flashing blip cruising across the night-sky—There goes a star.
Then Anya giggles and says—Remember?
Of course I remember, I say. Remember that I remember everything? It’s forgetting that I have trouble with.
Oh yea I forgot, Anya giggles some more. Maybe that’s why you drink.
When we were kids Anya would point out airplanes and say that some of them were not airplanes at all but stars that couldn’t stay put, stars that had to keep moving.
I’m gonna miss you when you move to L.A., ya know? What am I gonna do without my Daniel?
Before I can respond, Anya starts singing Elton John’s “Daniel,” something else she used to do when we were younger.
Daniel is traveling tonight on a plane
I can see the red-tail lights leaving for Spain
Oh and I can see Daniel waving goodbye
Lord it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes
Anya takes my hand and holds it. I can feel the insistence of her nails scratching into my palms. I can also feel bits of my heart rising in manic flutters toward my throat.
I see a second plane, or migrant star, cruising across the night-sky, not too far behind the first one.
I raise myself to its arc, and become a bodiless spectator, looking down at Anya and me lying in the grass in center field, hand in hand, our sides touching.
Time leaves us alone for a little while.