Ananta Prayitno

EAST OF GARY

Between the buildings, the deadbolt tumblers, the elevated rails weave as tangled strands of a vanity hairbrush, the metal recites history at 55 miles an hour, as it funnels towards the rising sun. An afternoon framed by brick gradients. My train falls into caverns of light mildew, one of two stretches of track running parallel. As pothole puddles rain on the cars I ride until the conductor can finally get some rest. Into a storm, the litter begins to float from the gutters, to the streets, into the river, as the piss in the gravel starts to rehydrate and the wind by way of Stonehenge burns like a hernia and jet fuel. Home my legs tangle under a blanket, no, a rag, and I become longing. No, sleepy, I turn sleepy. My body warms in the strangest corners waking up this bright Saturday to laughter and the smell of paella from next door.

NORTH, NORTHWEST OF THE LAKE SHORE

So I burst, ebbing like a back arched on cotton like a silhouette on the boxspring edge front of a doorframe filled with steam. The letterforms dance electric, as if they were cedar flitting through the blinds: “My lighthouse, Did you know kissing someone melds your mouths? The germs flip and flop until they balance. Our tongues are still bound to the same bacteria for months on end.” Carried on a lark to a Chinese-style wine tasting, I begin to float like coat pocket confetti. The AC units match in rhythm with cicadas keeping time for my heart, tense as I thumb into a pocket mirror, “My garrison, Do you still feel the sunshine on your back? I feel it in a quiet way a sticky kind of breath, a molasses, that holds me ’til the next life.”

Bio

Ananta Prayitno is an Indonesian import currently based in Chicago. Copywriter by day, Idiot With Keyboard by night. His latest projects can be found at arbitrarynumbers.com and dismissiv.es.