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Vanessa Place
From Achilles’ Shield


She snores softly in her sleep. I weep and wait for red to go green at the corner of the Boulevard, as orange-suited men fill holes with black pitch near a gazebo whose corners are silver ladies of the silver screen, sirens like the one twirling top that ambulance, my tires nose the crosswalk as I snap my fingers in two-thirds time, dancing while we lean against the white bars of our waiting, if you dropped a penny in my eye and made a wish, there’d be a longish silence then a faint plop as the disc hit the sea then sank to what depths we’re not certain, but meantime my turn signal ti-tacks-ti-tacks-ti-tacks and refuses to tock. How are you? I’m fine. We’re all of us blank and fine. I weep and dance to the Geistegschichte while we wait and wonder if this final funneling of fact has come correct, if order and happy coincidence
are the order of the day and not just croci of hope shot starward through the snow. Though there’s no snow here, though there’s light.

(She snores so sweetly, she snores so softly.)




 Vanessa Place is the author of a 50,000-word, one-sentence novel, Dies: A Sentence (Les Figues, 2005). She lives in Los Angeles.