Bogdan Dragos

December 08, 1992

keeping that spark

he deliberately chose
the nastiest
sound for the alarm clock

Zeeeehhweeeehhchhh

and there it went
again
Every four hours. Announcing that he
had to start the
engine again lest he
froze to death

The phone had 17% battery left. He
would need to visit
the library again
for a recharge but it was becoming
increasingly
harder as the smell of homeless
was growing more
potent on him

He checked the time again
turned off the phone
turned on the engine
wiped the windshield with his gloved hand
watched his breath leave his mouth
fumbled around for a cigarette

no luck

He took out the lighter and
struck it
and all it produced were sparks

It's been quite a lot of
no luck
lately

At the library he took small
chapbooks
with him to a desk and pretended
to be studying them
while the phone charged besides
him
but not having anything
better to do he
read some of the poems in
those chapbooks. He didn't understand
poetry, didn't know
how to read it to
make sense. He was simply not
a man of writing and reading,
didn't understand why
the lines were so choppy
and didn't go all the way
to the right margin of the page. Why did it
have to look so
intentionally wrong? Also
why didn't it rhyme if
it was called poetry? He resigned himself
eventually. He'll never understand
this part of literature

but still, there was
something
he read in one of those deranged
verses with words all
over the page. One poem that
ended something like this:

"then something else in me said, no, save the tiniest
bit.
it needn’t be much, just a spark.
a spark can set a whole forest on
fire.
just a spark.
save it."

His English wasn't the
best but he
understood the message well enough

the spark was
there
still
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