Psychic Operations While Driving Home

I slalomed right through all the parking meters to the no-parking
zone. I wasn’t planning on standing still, but Code Enforcement
demanded a mitten anyway. Damn.
Laugh at your jailers, he advised. Let your spirit coast across the
signs and signals.
Further down the road, here are the sisters of mercy who will
shelter you. But they will also take your baby as payment.
On the radio, to put a defnitive end to these affrontive impersonations,
the true authority appeared: the threading violin follows the
crystalline voice so closely.


Alone, I turned around and met myself, me from the way-before
time, before the bombs left pitted fields, before the checkpoints.
The few roads still un-undermined now hang in the same air
that I had been fighting only just this morning. They hesitate, but
manage to stretch a useful surface across the direction of history.
Blockades freshly out of date forget how to insinuate their insults
and commands, their mute mouths perfectly suited to my suddenly
innocent ears. My hand in slow anticlimax releases an obsolete
weapon. What was I going to do with it?
Others from those before-days fought and perished in the interim
that belonged only to me, and in washed-out acknowledgement
they now appear again. But they granulate too loosely to convey any
news and so make it all the clearer: the grief is final, there’s no one
left to tell.
This tender animal, stateless soldier, weightless remainder from
another calendar, slipped from its uniform and left the empty iron
cage, lock still secure, lying like ribs on a desert skeleton. This new
species, one of a kind, sips encouragement from the widening half-moon
holding her own in the noonday sky and walks on.

Laura Costas is an artist, writer and Washington, D.C., native. She is the author of three books–Ariadne Awakens: Instructions for the Labyrinth, Fabulae, Tales for an Age of Ambivalence, and Honest Stories. She loves big ideas and would like to know what you think.