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Compass

compass

He drives and smoke and taps ashes into an empty can of Dixie 45 between his knees and there is Crape Fairweather on the Factoria station or maybe it’s Mississippi John Hurt with Big Leg Blues. He hums, cackles. He drives slowly, slower even still through the crowds of the fleamarket stalls in the late summer mist, trying to look everyone in the eye, the women anyway, more exactly a tall dark woman, smaller in the rain, paler in the rain, condensation beading up on her face as if from the coolness of her glance, cup and cigarette sheltered beneath the wide hat with trembling lilies. He put the Lincoln in park and hits a button and the huge white landau top groans and rears and collapses behind him with a shrill wheeze and the woman watches mildly and he says: I’ve got some porkchops and five beers. And Myself, who has had corn for breakfast all summer and a single oyster before bed and a mandrake root under my pillow and, if you care to check, there is a chicken chained up in my yard.

She smiles and bites it away and looks away squinting as if to scan the horizon but there is no horizon and she says -That sounds interesting enough but you ain’t said if you have any money.

Money Lily- can I call you Lily? Money Lily I believe distracts from the temptation of me but I believe my wife dropped some change when she climbed out of the car.
She has to taste these words herself, The temptation of me. Then: What is your name rootboy?
Enough about me.
-Fair enough but who is selling here?
I’m selling my dead father. His shoes, jacket. Look at these shoulders. I’m selling a vintage summer evening, back in 1938.
-Trade you your dead old man for my dead old man.
He rubbed his neck. What’s the use? My ghost comes with his own bowels. Didn’t even quit his day job.
-Who do you see about that?
Who do you talk to?
-My ghost comes with seven graves, all in view of the river.
Oh, the places we’ll go.
-Oh. The things we’ll see.