Hirsch“The Second Coming”
tongue and down your throat. It is bitter and comforting. Despite your occasional visits,it feels like years since you’ve been back. You feel old, like a newborn.“I don’t know,” you say, “I’m sort of drifting.”Your head is light. The rope is kind.“So you’re, what, couch surfing?”“Yeah, for now,” you tell her, “I was thinking of staying a while, but it depends onif I can find work.”She lights up, takes a toke. She always likes to talk while she’s exhaling; itmakes her sound like Darth Vader’s wimpy kid sister.“There are jobs here, if you look hard enough.”You both go quiet, watching the river. Seagulls screech in the air, circling in awidening gyre over some unseen flotsam. The full moon traces a path across the river;shifting crescents of black and white dance around and through each other in pregnantswells. The effect is hypnotic. Your eyes are drawn in. For a moment you feel like youcould step down off the pier and walk across the light like it was the road to Oz or Asgard.She tries to pass you the bowl again, but you wave it off.“I’m good.”“I think it was dead anyway,” she says, and taps the ashes out. They scatter suggestively. You pull a bottle of Arbor Mist out of your backpack, unscrew the cap andtake a quick swig. It is obnoxiously sweet, like spiked grape soda, but it’s tradition, aholdover from more innocent days when you couldn’t afford anything better. Not thatyou really can now.