Abbas Abidi – A reading from the Book of Steam

A spine curls. The road empties. An angel grows into your shoulder. A page. A road. Written

into by feet.

Then a palimpsest, waiting to be unfound, undone, unwritten, waking and walking in ink, the

road, the page, rewritten and written again.

Then, beside the asphalt, a forest of eraser-faced children, sing from the mouth of trees. You’ve

named the angle in your shoulder Armageddon. It is a prophet, lost in and in love with its own

ecstasy, while watching from atop a mountain the marriage of his beloved.

The road curves. Upon the acclivity, you watch children sing. A quiet roar, pages yellowing, a

silverfish being borne upon your finger.

Evaporation is revelation, the angel whispers. It grows larger, into your spine. My demon lives

wildly, you think, as you feel wings protrude from your neck.

Then the page, the road, alight with yellowed ink, but you cannot see what you’ve unwritten, and

what’s been written over.

A spine curls. Around you, eraser faced children sing. They vibrate a song into your eye. Your

hand begins to hum.

A page of steam, broken by your shadow, waits for you to move.