Dead Man’s Passport

Winter, 2012–2013 / No. 29

All the numbers that hustle into place

for a date of birth, address. A signature

that’s a set of billowing clouds, a plane

ascent line. He looks into a camera

at the future, blank as a flash. Extra

pages for stamps, all those business trips,

to see different sets of middle-aged men

with sunglasses and cellphone. He only

needed to see them once, but look—

they were on every corner. Most space

outside reserved for cars, he arrived

in his own armoured bubble, left in it.

He stands over himself, reminded of dull

moments he stood in the bathroom,

cum shot of soap in his hand—everything

was something in the way. But there

was that time he called a black cat

a walking piece of midnight, the time

he watched a man give an alarmed look

as elevator doors closed, as though going

to his death. From now on, the entire

world will be Paris in the twenties.