Ryan Griffith


On the wall a Christ with its lips stitched shut. They spoke German in the darkness, televisions storming. A hollow in the floor where they kept the text: What are these wounds called eyes, these scars we speak through? He lit a candle and it shivered. Somewhere a crowd had gathered. He remembered what his father once said: when you see danger move towards it.


Mornings were the worst, the consciousness. Streets as vicious as childhood. Sometimes he thought of America, someone always scoring a touchdown, guessing the answer. People were living longer, the heart outlasting desire. Stray cats slunk from the shadows, eyes puckered and oozing. He reached out to touch one and it shot into darkness.

Saint Petersburg

Once he found himself lying awake like an old-time flying machine, throbbing in his body, writing in the secret journal of the night. Dear Night, he wrote, let there be a place where women walk like tigers, where their eyes are steel and ice, where their spiked heels wound the ground they walk on.


The people were smooth and clean as hospitals. He found a buried church, a girl playing cello. Her long arms moved over the throat like something wounded trying to fly. On a napkin he wrote, I’m never more alone than when I’m with you.


He met a woman at a bar. It smelled like America, salt and fat and perspiration. There were wolves on television. Everyone was watching the kill, blood in their teeth. At night the whores made kissing sounds outside his window. Someone said in English, see you on the other side.


He thought, I want to go into the forest with a few good friends and I want us to get lost, and together I want to read the position of the sun, the moss on the trees, and find our way to safety.

Los Angeles

He found himself crying for no reason. A baby touching its face, a Nature Channel special on the pilgrimage of salmon. Once he stopped at a yellow light while the other cars continued, moving through the red into the future.

San Diego

The airport was bright lights and voices, like surgery. People were waiting to be called, to be strapped in. Soon his body would enter the sky and then he would be in another place.