jolie laide

jolie laide

I started this when I lived in Brooklyn and struggled for grace in a city that grants moments of beauty and ugliness breathtakingly close to one another. Now I live in a place where things are a different kind of ugly and the beauty is pedestrian. I struggle with that.


The intersection of yearning and receiving is mapped to my shoulder blade. It’s a place I can’t touch, can’t soothe, but I can feel it, keen under my jersey as I go running. I am trying beat the cold front home, rising wind in my teeth and I am hung up at the light. It’s six lanes of screaming traffic and I am not planning on pushing it until I see the Flat Fix sign red and blue neon wheeling urgent. So I take the first three lanes, and then the second three lanes, and then I am two blocks away from where I can sit on the top of the stoop, press my tender shoulder against the house, feel its mass and warmth behind me.


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