The city sometimes forgets where she lives. The streets are confused. Air of cinders and flowers, the nerves of the boulevards on edge. Parks desert themselves. The address of her future uncertain.
She grabs for the world, tenants a coach house among restored Victorians, rose gardens and fountains. Brick walls dream of hay and horses, the scent of leather harnesses, ghosts tangled in their tethers. The soiled gloves of the coachman, carriage of sleep. A lost earring, a midnight slipper.
Outside her bedroom, graffiti across the road reads:
Tom Hendry is a rat
Testified against his older brother for murder
Full moon pinned between skyscrapers, the alley becomes a night-river of smashed beer bottles, obscenities screamed by crack dealers and drunks.
Published in TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Book 6. Purchase the book to read the full piece.
Toronto locations referenced in this piece
“In the path of resistance, the city doors are locked down. We ride the train to the edge, where the buildings meet the mouth of the harbour. The boxcars slice a path, leave a stiff suture. We hope the train will ease into Union Station, deliver a state . . . ” —Union Station