listening to the sewer

nychos 0

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

Trending now: The conclusion


Yellow. She had recognized him from the news, and so she went on, despite his boring answers about colour, this brother of the accused murderer, wondering if he had thrown out his forks.   

Do you come here often?


To galleries, do you go often, I mean?


Where are you from?


I’m sorry if I’m-


She considered taking the next step, asking the question she wanted to ask, about the cutlery, if his sister had ever made any sudden movements during their dinners together, of which there must have been hundreds, thousands of meals that you share with a sibling during the course of your life.

Thousands, probably.



You just said, “thousands,”

Oh, no, you misheard me.

She had again messed up her words, she thought, wanting to ask if she’d ever stabbed him with a fork, or at least used the prongs to fling a pea, but she was insecure about her ability to convince people of things, or draw people closer to her, through the things that she said. She wasn’t as bad as she thought she was, as is always the case with too many mirrors in a house, but she considered that, well, maybe nobody is perfect, aside from Obama, and Sir. John A, but, the point was that everyone made mistakes, it made you human, right, but why did I think I needed to be perfect to start out with?

The news.



“The news.” You just said the news.

No, I said, blue. I like how she used blue, for the necklace.

You aren’t too good at this whole keeping discrete thing, you know.


You heard about my sister.

Did she ever fling a pea at you?

You know, taking news about someone as representative of who they are is the same as believing a stranger who writes the story of your family from your front lawn.*

colour by Indie184

words by L. L. 

see the first scene here