Holy City
Howie Good


We lived in a city famous for its ruins. The sky was the same color as the glass heart of an abandoned bride. I asked what the color was called. Gazelle's blood, someone said.


The ancients wrote poetry about blood and pus, rules for living a holy life, such as when and who you could fuck. Newborns twitched all around their feet like poisoned mice.


She talked about the incident with the jellyfish. I put a finger to my lips. The taxi continued climbing the sharp hill that led to all the years ahead.


Some prefer the sea. She turned to look behind her. A pink rose was machine-embroidered on the back of her backpack. The nation mourned.


Out here the light is different -- a sprinkle of holy water under a sky made of ice.