At the 95 North S-Curve, 6:05 AM

You already know about the bridge being built: the drone of construction night after night, the trucks speeding by, moving lawn mowers and great boxes of whalebone corsets and crinolines.

I wake early to the noise, to the yellow lights blinking out their warnings, their abstractions: conceits with a certain sense of irony, that when I emerge from the cocoon of my bed, ascend the staircase to the small apartment now empty, I sit on the carpeted floor, alert and observant like I am intercepting messages through time.  

From this perch, transported to gardens, spacious halls and verandahs. A corridor might end in magnificence. In chandelier and minuet. 

But now, the scene is Klieg light and flat-bed truck bearing squat concrete slabs, stump-like as if cut from giant concrete trees. A crane with a dangling arm hovers, brushed by the soundless wing of a bird gliding by.

It turns. A steady, high-pitched sound of alert. Four men in orange vests and yellow helmets. Occasionally, one will raise an arm, gesture with it. 


The apartment is empty, has been for years. Inhabited once by a squirrelly woman who came and went noiselessly, back when the intoxicating scent of linden blossoms wafted up from the manicured grounds. 

Now, they are building and re-building the on-ramps to the highway. The road itself blockaded, a staging area for the trucks and the concrete slabs and the ubiquitous orange traffic cones.

The truck idles all night. The drone of the engine provides the soundtrack to my dreams.

A police car, its lights flashing, backs up the roadway. When it is alongside the truck, it stops. 

It is light now. Indigo sky gives way to transitional blues and grays. An orange-vested man raises a small orange flag, waves it at no one in particular. 


I am the kind of person who will always cross the room for you. I am the one who will rush to the door when I hear your footsteps on the porch stairs. I will slide over to where you are sleeping, press my body into the curve of you. 

You are the one who stands still, in the center. I orbit you. 


In the time since I first rose to now - remembering that August afternoon, amidst a throng of visitors who occasionally called out with one large voice in chant, child-like, incantatory - an hour has passed. Several slabs of concrete have been placed. The yellow lights have delivered their coded messages unceasingly and I have accepted what my limitations would allow. 

The truck engine still running. The shadow of a bird in flight passes above me. The air holds the slightest chill of approaching autumn. 

I had nearly forgotten about the birds. They build their nests in the gutters and in the eaves. They leave their deposits on the steps, on the walkway, and the sense I am left with is of one defiled. A sickness, like the blight of a particular tree spreading across the country, just as concentric circles ripple. This blighted forest in which I am completely lost that I cannot find the way out again until I see the blinking lights just over the crest of the hill, the yellow arm of the crane hovering, rising up over this enigmatic land. 

Time and again, I study the regions along this highway, along our bodies - you and me, and our place in it - beneath the path of the insistent birds that circle overhead, season upon season, in summer and again in the bright spring air, till their wing tips touch as they bank.