I smoked a black cigarette and as I scrubbed the scent off my body in the shower my mouth tasted like him. Not as he tastes in actuality, but how he tastes in some metaphysical region of my brain, like James Joyce's watercolors and foggy half-remembered emotions. My lips were numbed and spicy as a souk.
I walked twelve thousand steps late at night down Lake Street. No one bothered me or acknowledged me but one man brimming with swagger and bearing a shopping bag steaming with fried chicken and potato wedges. "Hey, lovely," he said, and kept walking. I chose to offer him a tooth grinch smile. Whistles from friendly wolves. How do they know I'm female when I have no hair and am hunched and swaddled against the wind in a hoodie and pants and pants and boots?
Song for Zula came on in my ears when I was outside a Mexican bakery, momentarily gazing in at the still pastel offerings asleep in their neon lit cases. I don't believe that Zula is a real person but I swipe at my eyes hard with the back of my hand and glance left and right quickly, in case anyone has seen.
I meet cats when I walk at night. Most are furtive and busy as their nocturnal alter egos, but some come to me. I meet one on a stone wall that reminds me of the fat marmalade cat that jumped from the birch tree, that day by the lake, narrowly missing my face with a flash of its clumsy startled claws. I stood with my back pressed against the stark white bark and your hands were around my waist, your thumbs pressing in, in, until they met at my navel and I exhaled as I melted and left a breath hanging visible in the cold air.
If I have to be alone, I want to be alone, on salt flats, on the motorcycle. You can go in any direction. Everything about a motorcycle is sexual, don't listen to the rational people.