Michael Brandonisio


Max Jacob Mirage

Flames seem to dance as Jack looks through a kaleidoscope, red and yellow with white flecks, bought at the five-and-dime with Marilyn Monroe's face plastered up and down and all around its shaft. The flames expire as embers. Black is all Jack can now see. He puts the kaleidoscope down on the windowsill.

Jack goes and sits on his cot in his cold room, focusing unclearly. Something in the likeness of an angel emerges through the cheap blue wallpaper and dissipates as quicksilver light unbearable. This likeness of an angel may once have been a Max Jacob mirage in like proportion gone. Perhaps, after all, the akhashic records contain forms of erasures restored, the ineffable explained, the string theory blueprint in diaphanous form. Perhaps this likeness apparition once formed a star that went somewhere at the speed of light, went off-course, and reified solely for him in this cold little room.

An hour passes. Jack rises from the cot, goes to the kaleidoscope, and looks into it with one eye fearless. He calculates in his head the astral distance it will take the likeness of an angel to return. Distance = Speed multiplied by Time. His head begins to throb. He takes his eye away from the kaleidoscope, goes back to sitting on the cot. He stares at the cheap blue wallpaper in his cold little room and imagines bubbles dangling in mid-air like this:
0 00 0
00 00
0 00 0

Three hours or so later, as dusk settles into night, it happens. Here, right here in front of him. A shock that feels electric from his vibrating head to his frostbitten toes.

He knows full well that no one will believe him. Nonetheless, he accepts the presence of cellular deconstruction and all that it entails - hic et nunc, ubique. And after that, metempsychosis remains a distinct possibility. The idea of that warms him, if only for a moment.

crime in America

Michael Brandonisio's written and visual work has appeared in Small Po[r]tions, Sein und Werden, Otoliths and elsewhere.
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