“Torque” by Grant Loveys

Image by Robert Linder

A dishevelled man placed his palm
on my son’s head and said
“Hello, Mason.”
We were on the number 8 bus.
We had never seen this man before.
The sky was the exact grey
of the seats we were sitting on.

My son looked up at me
and I could see a white-hot wire
glowing behind his eyes.
I said “He must have heard us talking,”
because I didn’t know
what else to say.

The man got off a few stops later
and folded himself into a gang of
rainbowed teenagers waiting at the corner.
I could see across the tops of buildings
all the way to the city’s rim.
I was waiting for everything to cave in on itself.

The bus crippled on down the street.
I imagined my son and I compacted
into a dead black obelisk.
I felt the dishevelled man carving his name into us.
I felt our mingled blood well up in his letters.

My son said “How does the bus carry us?”
I said “The same way I carry you.”

He nodded.
He didn’t understand torque.
And I didn’t tell him about it.
Not that kid,
not that day.

*

Grant Loveys lives in St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. His work has appeared in numerous literary publications, including Fractured West and Carte Blanche.

Back To Issue #26

Leave a Reply