Josephine Meckseper


A perfect day to be uptown. Everything is high— the buildings, the sky, the people. The glass, the metal, the bright light. Buses rushing by and the cars. Even the handicapped tourists look good now that the dust has settled. Two men are dragging a large mirror along Fifth Avenue like a piece of the sky. Mannequins in shop windows are still wearing bathrobes. Belts made from lost ties of careless businessmen. A thousand points of light, bail bonds, soft money. Low prices every day. The London crowd in Engels, and the man of the crowd in Poe. Coffee grounds in white snow on the sidewalk, and water dripping from the Empire's windows on the world. Consequently, resistances to command continually emerge within Empire. That morning a woman on the subway platform had on a tight, silver polyester top that made her chest look like a metal sculpture. She wasn't very pretty. Opaque pantyhose. Nude heels. Seamless stretch. One Step Forward, Two Steps Back. Makhov again began with a vulgar simplification of Marxism. "Our only revolutionary class is the pro- letariat," he declared, and from this correct premise he drew an incorrect conclusion: "The rest are of no account, they are mere hangers-on [general laughter]...." I am late, jumping into a taxi heading south on Fifth. Toward the sun, the Bank of America. Left lane must turn left. The avenues aren't much better. Eventually they all end in the water. The numbers on the note turned out to be a hotel address. And a room number. And a time. Wooden furniture, beige wallpaper. Television from 1987 and a small terrace. Ornament as crime. Once out on the terrace, two girls with long legs and blond hair so light that yellow seems white and white seems yellow.