Long listed for the WRITE ABOUT WALKING AND LISTENING competition run in July & August 2021
Circles through the fireflies and tree bones, I decided, was the path I’d walk tonight–
through Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan where I live. Everyone in Tompkins was
ragged in some way. Music from one man playing guitar in rags blurred into music from
another playing guitar in rags~the music fusing like every blue at dusk. Fireflies sparked
and flamed out. A near-naked woman took a drag on her cigarette, another kind of
firefly. I wound round the park, and thought of figure skaters. There was an American
elm, circled by benches of people. Impossibly, it was almost perfectly quiet. I live my life
in widening circles that reach out across the world. I may not complete this last one but I
give myself to it. That’s Rilke. I was thinking of the dead, wending through us like
music.. I live my life in widening circles that reach out across the world. I may not
complete this last one but I give myself to it… I have been circling for thousands of
years. And still I don’t know: am I a falcon, a storm, or a great song? A young Latinx
man heard the music and stopped mid-stride and just stood–I stayed, to watch him
stay. A man clapping on his bicycle like a drum, a band of all-female skateboarders
slapping their shoes on pavement, all of us breathing each other. We almost certainly
have no idea whose lives we have saved.
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Read more from the Long List of stories submitted to the WRITE ABOUT WALKING & LISTENING competition. Listen to winning authors read their work at a showcase event on Sunday 26 September 2021 book here.