shared silence.

they walked side by side, her arm slipped awkwardly through his, the quiet transporting them to separate worlds.

overhead streetlights pulsed quickly--continuously, illuminating each of the thousand unanswered questions.

and it was there, amidst the questions and the silence and the faint glow of uncertainty, that she first wondered whether to silently un-slip her arm--to stop moving--to stand still and watch as the slow world's current quietly carried him away.

but she continued on. in an effort to match the unnatural cadence--to find a silence they could share.

{ps: regularly scheduled programing begins again. tomorrow.}

bottom of the cup.

she stared into the bottom of her coffee cup, looking for renegade pieces of bean--bits gone unnoticed by the grinder. she noted the formation of new bubbles against the hard, white clay.

feeling his eyes upon her she wondered if this was the end. or just the next step.

her elbow pushed into the dark wood of the counter.

whose move was next? whose answer would come first?

and in the silence, her dark hair cutting a half-mask across her face, she thought: this is when i ask him to fall in love with me.

instead she pushed back the stool and went to refill her cup.

the end.

she couldn't breathe.

it was as though the city was crumbling in on her.

it was on the subway when she first noticed it: the slow, inching end of her love-affair with new york. she had ceased to find any charm in the thousand little eccentricities around her.

she could no longer bear the plaintive cries of taxi horns or the cloying sense of loneliness in crowded elevators.

so she began to pull out detailed maps of the continental US. she traced the orange interstate lines back and forth, up and down, planning her escape. her fingers running over the rocky mountains, the great lakes, along the continental divide divining for answers, groping for meaning. the questions always, where to go?

she dreamt of closing her eyes, moving her hand along the folded ridges until she felt the need to stop. and that stop would be the beginning. the next move. the migratory edict.

but she lacked the courage to close her eyes.

and without an answer she was forced to stay.