In the dying embers of the evening when the flicker of the tv shines as bright as daylight, the explosions in my head speak about love, and they speak about death. They’re both opaque as coal. On the pavement outside, deserted and reeking of regret, droplets of rain fall like bombs. In a town I call my own but where I’m forever a stranger, the ghost of my former self darts from phonebooth to phonebooth and stairwell to stairwell in search of a secret chord that might help me make sense of the symbols in my head. They hum and throb. They change the way I am like an exotic disease. In a parking lot as the clouds swirl like water down the kitchen sink, beads of sweat drip down my neck. Like tongues. Like rivers. In these early hours, I’m close to where I need to be, but a million miles from home. Those I once loved are in the shadows. Hidden effigies from an era before I was reborn. They’re so far removed from who they used to resemble, I don’t even recollect the image of their true face. They mutate from day to day. Their hearts once sang the sweetest music, but now all I hear are Chinese whispers as the wheels in my mind spin upon the black ice of modern life.