Above and below surfaces, things fall apart.
I am slick and black but I am not like you. Undulating beneath New York City pavement and thrashing against walls of concrete, my slippery skin has begun to wear. I am speaking to you when you are not listening, filaments of plastic wrappers bind my teeth but I have not lost momentum. The weight of the ocean is throbbing against the tunnels of your subway trains and cars, threatening collapse of cherished architectural capital. How much longer will the patchwork of your tired men hold up the cohesion of this city?
See my shadow as I pass, roaming pre-historic. Feel the echoing THUMP of my tail as you unlock your bicycle from the post, a little tipsy after midnight.
Watch the bathwater drain from the tub and listen for the suction as I inhale your pubic hair, phlegm and soap scum. My belly is pulsating, white, smooth and heavy and I am sick on your waste; hear me groan.
See the ripples and cracks in the concrete, press your ear to open gorges in the sidewalk and listen. I am speaking to you when you are not listening: Hear me as the F train exhales upon arrival – look down for a moment between the platform and doors that rattle.
As you stand immobile on that subway train hurtling underground, remember your mortality. This city constructed with imperial dreams and blood, shrouded with fears as my hard, black dorsal fin propels me through the organized chaos, the quick of my tail displacing the debris, my underbelly pulsating, white, smooth and pristine.
As the tides rise, feel me coursing through the underground arteries – hear me gnash my teeth and see my shadow pass silent beneath your feet.
Above and below surfaces, things fall apart, and you are bound to one another. You glide over oceans, across invisible lines, to reach each other. Return to Montréal and see how colours turn outside your window, suffused with light: you steep handpicked medicine in cold glass jars, wrapping threads she wove around your wrists. You have eaten the fruit: wet strawberries from California, the mint and green grapes she sliced into halves.
word by Alisha Mascarenhas
colour by NYCHOS
One thought on “listening to the sewer”
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