Red Flecks on a Veneer of Black

Sitting in traffic: slowly moving, the cars’
brake lights run rampant. Individ- ually, we’re
contracting [ separate ] yet mindful of one another.
Moving independently, but cogni- zant of
the need to brake. Red lights smolder—

ignite a silent angst. From high above, we’re
a shimmering molten river: in- flamed // afire.
We move like lava in a line—even in the day-
light, when the red seems cooled, veneered
by black basalt. At night, when the cars begin

to separate from their pooled den- sity, it
appears that bits of flame flicker up and off,
expanding just as tea leaves do escaping tri-
angled netting and roving from the epicenter.
They’re airlicks made by a slither- ing snake

or a great, gleaming beast arising from a child’s
dreams. A beast that doesn’t do any- thing really, but
actifies a gut-deep fear in the mind. A fear
we attribute with something we don’t know
and don’t want to try to under- stand.

We’re always searching for the light
in the darkness. Our eyes strain to glimpse
the ethereal in reality: like dis- cerning one
of only 8 blood types—a plasma that inter-
twines nationalities and should slow our fear.