Alex Stolis

Imagine that world; the one without an alphabet

My phone goes off while I am in the airport x-ray machine; the one
that scans the whole body. My arms are up in the air. For a moment
I believe it’s you. For a moment it changes my life and for a moment
I believe it’s you. The entire time I never think about death. Instead
there’re clouds looped into rings into chains, there is bliss in the face
of certain immobility. The next moment Radiohead plays over the PA;
conversation in an unidentifiable Eastern European language, a young
boy tying his shoes. The sky becomes a brilliant heavy blue. No, more
like ice. No; it is the crush of impermanence.

Imagine that world; the one without an alphabet

Pumping gas it starts to snow. Three flakes, then half a dozen. I stop
counting after twenty. I am always counting; counting firsts and lasts.
First kiss/last fuck, first bloom of spring /last message. The last time
your eyes cut a blue arc through a room/the first accidental brush of
hand against hand. There’s a flicker of dim gray dollars, cents, gallons;
I count on the crows to change white to black.

Imagine that world; the one without an alphabet

You’ve repaid your debt. Call the waitress over. I’ll reinvent suicide,
leave you with a slender heart to dream this world complete. We split
the check, careful not to under tip. The last time we touched, it was in
that dim bedroom, the light clinging to your skin; me, thinking much
too loudly. Right now the snow looks like rain, little blades ready to
cut my story to ribbons.

Alex Stolis lives in Minneapolis.