Credit: Eva Strauss
Poetry & Prose


That night, the sky looked like infinity.  The sky looked like infinity the night before that and the night before that all the way into the beginning of time.  Even still, there was something different about the forever-ness of that night.  I liked the way the night felt—warm, still beating against my body and pressing my heart ever upwards into the sparse clouds.  I suppose I should have stayed in my room and looked at the night, but I’ve always needed to experience things before I get the whole feel of it.  Armed with a book of world mythology, a towel, a bottle of bubbles, and a sweatshirt, I made my way up the 8 flights of stairs to the shoddy roof deck of my building.  I lived on the 5th floor, and I guess I could have taken the elevator, but I wouldn’t have felt right if I had taken the elevator to go outside.  So I walked up the dingy stairs, past the stroller Amy had grown out of, past last night’s pizza boxes, past the trash bags, and I came out into the clear evening air.  I dragged two plastic lawn chairs out of the shed and arranged them facing each other on the wooden deck.  I put my sweatshirt on before sitting down and throwing the blanket over my stretched out legs.  I wiggled out of my flip-flops and pushed them over the edge of the chair.  I took out the book and began to read.  I read about gods and goddesses, humans and animals, the beginning and the end, with the sun setting at my back all the while.  I didn’t get very far before I couldn’t read anymore, so I just put the book down and looked up.

As I watched the sky, the moon rose slowly and surely to take her place among the stars and the sun dimmed his golden crown.  I leaned back in my chair so I could see better, but it just made my neck hurt, so I uncovered my legs and lay the towel on the wooden picnic table.  As I lay down on the towel, I could see the city coming to life around me.  I unscrewed the lid on the plastic bottle of bubbles and put it next to my head so I could reach for it later without a problem.  I crossed my arms over my chest, like King Tut once did, and I just sort of waited there.  What I was waiting for, I’ll never know, but I got the feeling that I was waiting for something.  I listened to my breathing and as it slowed to barely anything, I let my mind wander.  I thought about how I am a human—not a cat or a fish or a firefly, but a person.  I remembered the belief of re-incarnation and how I could very well have been a cat or a fish or a firefly.  I thought about music, flowers, whales, glass… I thought of anything and everything until I realized that the moon was higher now, and shining on my body.  I’ve always loved how beautiful the moonlight is.  Even my scarred and stubby hands look beautiful and ethereal, and I stretched my fingers up to the stars just to make sure my hands were really mine.  I reached across my face and grabbed the bottle of bubbles.  I sat up where I was, and dipped the bubble wand in the solution.  I waved the wand around, but I decided I should blow the bubbles myself rather than flail around like a fool.  At first only one came out, but then hundreds and hundreds more.  Then I put my hands at my sides and I watched as the bubbles drifted up.  Up the dingy stairs, past the stroller Amy had grown out of, past last night’s pizza boxes, past the trash bags, and up and out into the crisp night air.  The city lights and the moon and the stars reflected off of the bubbles, and if I looked carefully at the right moment just before they popped, I could see the sky itself, and it looked like infinity.

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