There’s no white washing:
only shades of brown, hints
of orange, a glow of southern
string lights on wire frames.

There’s no dampening:
the sound of surf that makes the
moon shine louder, the lines
of your tattoos scream like some neon

A switch flipped out of
convenience, of
necessity, of
habit. Patterns are
hard to break through.

Like jail cells. Like
poverty. Wretched prisoners of
ourselves, suppressing our instincts for survival. For
lust with neon and
commercials for beauty. Yet, here you are, where lights are dimmest.

But secrets do not live in
shadows. They parade themselves in
darkness like the stars hold daylight. Like
there’s a concrete answer:

a stairwell where no one dances, no one trips.

Secrets are denied truths, on
things once burned and constructed again. Stars lie
about their ancient and stale daylight. Concrete
crumbles eventually, burial mounds of rubble.
The bridges fall and
walls fall and
defenses fall. I fall. Failing like triumph.

We pick specific battles
to educate ourselves in
ruin. Ruin is a city where no
matter how hard pushed, no
one can break, where I’ve unpacked
my valuables and rearranged
what is left of the furniture. Hubris
and sun-bleached
rubble define new
through-fares and make-ways.

The burning moat of
oil you’d have to swim through
would purge all ego, all honor, all bravado.

I’ve saved a seat for you.

When the guards ask what is
heaviest, you say yourself. Every
time. Your own frame, your own flesh and
blood and (broken) bone weigh you down.
You can ask what it is like to feel free. They’ll
tell you all you have to do is follow.

Only then will I say:

“Infinite” is too big a presumption for me. I can’t see past your lips, hear beyond your voice repeating, “no matter how hard pushed…” If our each-truth is that we are each other’s heaviest thing, then let’s trade. Take turns holding each other down, finding weightlessness.


-by Jess June & Ridire Quinn
Photo by Ridire Quinn


One thought on “Stairwells

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