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Intimacies, Prose. Poems and Stories

Witness


If I could tell you. If I thought you might believe me.

If I could remember.

1
I think she was alone. Yes. & I think there were two men or maybe women. It was hazy & I’m never certain anymore. & she seemed happy to be there. Very happy. But who can be sure? I carry my own weight, as they say & never intrude . . . but it was her, I swear. & I would do it again if I could but it’s too late. But, it was her, I swear & when they began to cross the bridge I noticed a light & then a sound I’m not used to & Yes. there was an explosion & there were flames & the building collapsed & all I remember was the cloud it raised & the eventual silence . . . & sirens – they came later & I looked down to see her again & she was gone.


2
It was a clear night. I remember. The moon was full & in spite of the glare from the city, there were even a few stars & I did see her. I’m sure. She was with a crowd from the opera or symphony. I don’t go anymore. & she was wearing a black leather trench coat, the kind you see in foreign movies from the 40’s & she was on the arm of a woman in red . . . Yes. A red smock, the kind a painter wears & they were kissing & I was entranced & then they stopped & the fire & the explosion & I ran & No. I haven’t seen either of them.


3
I know her. Yes! Very well. & she can’t be trusted. I remember a time when she could but that was years ago . . . That night, Yes. I remember. She was with him & they had left the party early, early enough to have been there. I know. I was there too. & the next thing I know, they were running & there was the explosion & the rush of hot air & I fell & when I could get up I saw them – I’m sure it was them – running away & laughing.


4
I was with her. Yes. Hand in hand. We had much to talk about & much to settle & it was between us & no one else & when we left the lounge we walked, as we’ve often done, to the park & stopped for a crepe & a coffee & after a while – oh, maybe thirty minutes, we walked to the river & started across the bridge & stopped to watch the passing skulls & the fisherman reeling in for the night & we walked further & it was then it happened & we fell to the road & held each other & I heard her pray.


5
Of course it was her. Who else do you think. She’s been planning this for months & she had the time & the connections. I should know. She confided in me. I’ve spent the last six months following her & to be sure, I’ve hired others & rented rooms close by . . . & to think you let her slip through . . . & Why? Why now? Why come with your lame excuses & theories & no one to back you up . . . where were you when I was there & ready & could have stopped it all – could have saved the day.


6
You must be nuts. Her. No way. She hasn’t been home let alone here for weeks. I know. I live next door & we usually have coffee in the morning & maybe a croissant or two & No. In fact, the last I time we met in the market & she was complaining about the heat & how a trip to the mountains was what she needed & asked me to feed her cat, Salome, but changed her mind & said an aunt would do it or she would take it to the kennel & now you ask me – Ha. Who do you think she is . . .? & if so, you are mistaken!


7
Women. I’m not certain how many but quite a few & after ten. Yes. I’m certain. The news was on in my car & I remember the chimes from St. Michael’s & they were walking & one had a lantern & swung it like a sensor & they stopped & formed a circle & one came to the center & picked a partner & held her close & the rest swirled around them & then the explosion & the smoke & I couldn’t see.


8
Why do you ask so many questions? & why do you look so hard for me? I’m here. I live where I’ve always lived & have not hidden from you or anyone else. But you insist on asking others instead of coming to me & I resent that. How dare you. You have no right. & Now. Here I am. What do you want of me? Is it that night? Is that what you want? To know that night . . . I’ll tell you but not because I think you deserve it . . . it’s for myself that I will tell you.

I was walking along the river & stopped for a cigarette when I saw a man rowing across the river which is odd since most rowers go up & down but this one was rowing across & when he disappeared in the fog I left for the café where they know me well & I sat in my usual seat near the door & when it happened, I don’t know, the windows shook & we all hid our faces & someone cried “God” & then the police & I don’t know what else.


9
May I speak? Thank you. In fact, there was no woman. Yes, that’s right. No Woman. In fact, there was no one on the bridge that night. How do I know? I’m the attendant for that bridge & at precisely ten o’clock I chained the gate to that walk & within an hour, all the others as well. If she was there – if anyone was on the bridge, they had to climb over my gate or swim & climb up & the current is strong – as you should know.

 

Overview
Barcelona Diary
It's Mother's Day
By Dawn's Early Light at 120 Miles Per Hour
Stiletto
The Man With His Back To The Room
Intimacies, Prose. Poems and Stories
Homage to a Widow
It's Only TV
Improvisations - Chapbook
After Goya
Escapades
Improvisations - From Contemporary Music