Crystalline Petrichor (Strichtarn)
rating: +15+x

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The way the barrel of the PM Makarov recoils, smokeless
powder and dysmorphic brass
kicking sparks and dyed vellum and phosphorescence
between the iron pillars and the subway tiles padding Marx’s cheeks—
is too fast.


The soldat springs to attention, the pocket issue of
Playboy, sandwiched between his shoulders drops, splays wide open.
Another
Juwel cigarette–always Juwels, those flaking tops, the edges—those leathery edges—always
being mused a holding pattern, a flare, an electric torch, or paper crane
mounted sideways with lithographed hip bones and blackened paragraphs of a parasitic McCarthy
leeching frost from his cornea slouching towards the neon yellow palisades, the windows
polarized with miniature
flashbulbs sheeted over in olive tarps and scraps of discarded overcoats.


She cocks the hammer. Again.


Feeling the tensile strength—the return mechanism—of the internal spring creep.


Quiver. By proxy.


Snaps forward the slide.
The hammer.
Bakelite vacuum–
slotted form.


Czech pot metal. The lowbrow art of alloys.
She could taste the lead, the tang of adulterants, preservative—the cosmoline, the grit coating the flange’s enjambment
deadheaded
where the slide, machined by some hacksaw and the breath of some kid who lost an bet by an misshapen ace—the plastic edges
raze down an arm.


An subterranean roar. Somewhere between an transformer and an thorax. Trampled wasps. Halogens
westbound for Checkpoint Charlie crest over his shoulder. Flit
in the damp shoal on his chest—arrayed in archipelagos, tangential chains like an chart of Key West or the border crossing at Tijuana, eroding an unspoken meridian—
rows upon rows of anchored pillboxes—sedans and rickety old school buses—crawling
first sluggishly, then with fervor
as the fizz of technicolor—honky tonk neon
bubbled.


Hesitated.


Billowed upwards. Always upwards. Upturned suitcases. Upturned spades. Upturned collars. Upturned bicycles, their aluminum spines flattened. Contorted. Handlebar over rear fork. She felt her
kneecap strike his jugular, feeling as his flesh warped, deformed. Translucent. An dissected tadpole. Twitching
shoulder boards
against the inertia, shooting down beneath an woolen sleeve,
behind marrow
into the bone.


The stairwell descends, perforated steps vaulted in shadow.


She follows, trying to picture her bare toes digging into crushed cottonwoods, the bark spongy, absorbent after a round of acid rain.


The landing empties and doubles over onto a fire escape. Beneath interwoven steel the taillights of Trabants and Ladas flit, sputter as their undercarriages make contact from asphalt to cobblestone.


There must be another path.


The Makarov tightens.


Under a bus shelter, a colonel bundles himself in a confiscated leather jacket and rubs two fingers over a patch of gauze on
his nape as an umbrella swings. Explodes low. An old hag grips the u-strap of a pleather bag, hugging close a bundle of ostmarks. Tries to shuffle for the next overhang.


Businessmen part sideways, thumbing over their Juwel cigarettes–always Juwels—with their spark and the stink and the shriek the tips made when they were struck—spackled nosebleed red—snuffed—
ash and hardened spittle and phlegm sticking, molding themselves
behind zebra crosswalks and the third rail—that prosthetic spine which wound, oozed


beneath an city demarcated by barbed wire and listening posts—tape recorders spelling the syllables, the variations of vigilance to an new tumor, the formless crucifix of lead, reared hooves and an outstretched hand snarled in graphite, oxide and sewage and dilated turpentine and binocular crosshairs brushed—burnished in the clot above the columns, the archway of a plaster Brandenburg Gate.


Shudder.


Blink.


Now the shutter’s split. Always—


split.


Strichtarn.


Gopher holes against a pasted beige and flecks of white—black mold dampened with
glass expanding into a

fractal.

Mug > A&W > Barqs root beer < no root beer at all

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