Author: Mikki Aronoff

We sit immobilized, re-reading the same fortunes wriggling out from our smashed cookies: “This is the last thing you will ever need to read.” Slips of paper like unearthed, restless nematodes unsettle our party of poets and teachers, one of whom retired that day. The waiter sweeps around us, bent, upends chairs onto tabletops. We conjecture: Jokes? Unhappy workers at the print shop? Surely not one of…us? The artist among us cracks a smile; as words are no longer necessary, perhaps now she could live off her paintings? We laugh, nervous, stumble to the street. Neon lights flicker on and off. We dig into pockets, purses, alcohol-wipe our hands, plaster masks across our faces, walk home. Later, texts fly like infinity signs among us — we’ve all received the same singular communique stuck in our doorways, tucked under windshield wipers. But the contents were empty as our streets, as the morning papers. They had tried to wean us. First, that fading print. Then just headings and pictures and captions, next only front page headlines, then