City Fragment

There are an infinite number of ways to get inside the city. Most streets are cobbled. Some are dirt. None are especially level. When entering from the east, there is a rapid squeezing, a narrowing. A body is jostled, bounced, twisted, twirled, and not infrequently shoved. In winter, wheels, feet, and hooves churn up the half-frozen muck. Swine root in fishy water, vegetable matter. Towers strain, bells peal. Someone cries for a girl called Doll Lane. There’s frozen dung, whores behind a thicket, and a ridiculous dandy in white feathers who resembles a shuttlecock in tights. He adjusts his horned wig, moves northwest. An alley, a cat shadow, another cat. A body falls back into the dark space. Fingers brush the mossy stair. One uproots the night, dismantles it, like an inhabitant of a city that changes population with the dawn. One sleeps. One dreams. One passes the gate and one forgets.