Dead Seeing

Nick Maurer

Alan collects salt-in-the-wound mementos others cannot stomach. A little bullet of volcano, a shriveled wrist, a magnet of departure, an unfashionable trust in the future. From a window seat, the surging city grids below almost puncture the cerebral stillness of the cabin. Nature alone is terrifying, he thinks, so it is natural to be afraid. Two elegant, angular ladies sit next to Alan, a mother and daughter. Shouldn’t there be some poetic quality in nature that helps one talk about the poetry of it, the far right one asks. Something like: even the disappearing ghosts sprout hope, the left one offers. Even oil drills have self-annihilating desires, Alan adds. Before them, an ocean rises to the cost of the damage of its rising. Between them, a triangulated glimmer of hope darkens along the chitinous rows into the red eye of night. Alan dreams of his yucky wet bones, how they have almost nothing to do with who he is and how they will eventually become this dark liquid with which the future may burn just slightly further. And twenty thousand years from now, perhaps his bones will entreat galaxy MACS0647-JD, 13.3 billion lightyears away where revolutionary deposits ignite the nowness of then from the ongoing nearness of before, rattling the next abyss in retrograde communities of umbratica and mist.