The Ancients in All Towns were for having some intricate Ways and turn again Streets, without any Passage through them, that if an Enemy comes into them, he may be at a Loss, and be in Confusion and Suspense; or if he pushes on daringly, may be easily destroyed. -Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472)
I grew up in a cul-de-sac, which is French for “I was born. I fucked myself. I die.” The bottom of a bag, the land of seems and no exit, the loop of infinite defensiveness. The survival of those who precede me despite their conditions includes a more ancient love of the woods and her effervescent laugh, jug rosé over ice, Salem* cherries glowing in the family room at night, his flint of quick wit, just as much as it includes my martyr’s sighs and submission to a marriage–both formulaic and grossly tipped–to a man who picked, as his mother observed, the softest place to fall, which is, yes, the rounded bottom of sack, or anatomically, a blind pouch or cavity, like a hole. The prick and pressure of employment, and the threat of strike, always an ambient threat–how to sustain and how to maintain the household, under the scrutiny of judgments hemming in. Find a seamstress not your mom to undo the knot? A noose? A mistress? A day job? A new womb? New wound? Put a middle school next to the abattoir. Replace hearts with cars. The regulating forces–despite any stray, animal hearts–so pre-inscribed that even an alien import to teendom would find a first kiss beneath a full moon in a parked car at the end of a dead-end street apocryphal.
With a question: Who will slaughter me?