Silhouette by Lan Turner
 

Anthem

by Brendan Nurczyk


And as Jon Bon Jovi peels his blasted red-knuckled fists through the silver Sedan

casting its shadow through the parking lot, lone star and single street light. Four

more hours before the sun even thinks to rise, before he buttons the top button

against his neck, the voice box of sharded glass, bullet roster and black coffee,

before Marvin Gaye ever opens his lips, every sings in 1971 angels falling

“Fly high, fly high,” the lark spilling its song into the gutter, the cicada grinding

its teeth halving a toothpick or cedar cigarette, a wing dancing outside of a plastic

bag, a plastic bag hanging from a windshield wiper. Rain, how it beat down on that

tired old parking lot and washed out us. Like Noah, or some violent baptism, I think

this must be it. The last night alive, the last feel fragile eyes of morning before dawn

will hush out the neon lights of that McDonalds we buy coffee from because it’s cheap

not because its good. We don’t often say it enough in the moments we are thankful to

be alive, for what it’s worth I have a single nickel in my pocket that’s been rusting since

I was six. Dryer lint and good god, the woman sweeps the parking lot and asks us to move

our feet, she sings a school I do not know yet; this is her anthem. This is her riot, her

burning bird, her tired old rick-rock and roll over your stomach is just asking for the knife.

You cry a little, lean on my shoulder, laugh. It is not enough to not know what we hunger,

it is not enough to know what we taste. You down the last of your Coke chilled in that 2am

electric. The cicada, I imagine, moves its wings with your breath, it eats through summer.

The lark, it too, knows what it means to walk a little on the ground.