Matthew Guenette

A light static rained on the radio. The drug-dealing dykes next door had hauled themselves out into the violet light of the alley, fighting again as they had all day.

I was in the kitchen—still wearing the hospital bracelet, sitting in the dark in my underwear in a chair I'd dragged to the window—in the mood to discover, vague notions of beauty punching through my thoughts.

One of the girls, let's call her 'Debbi,' accused 'Bev' of sucking some hillbilly's pipe.

It was a mystery. You could hear the semantics moan. Like slivers of silver flame.

Then a face got slapped.

Then someone said, you dumb cunt, and they were at it, grappling beneath my window. A week earlier men in space suits had flooded the alley with murderous light, corralling the lab across the way in yellow tape. They were pulling the sheet over a body in the weeds when I walked up with my groceries, jawing on the phone with my mother who was somewhere else equally complex, somewhere in America. I have to go, I said, saving her the situation.

THE END. Except the memories coalesce in some corner of the self. I make no mistakes with the details: the way the streetlights coped with the trees, how darkness was forming in the cicada's buzz, those cries from the alley—I'm sorry; I love you; please come back—grasping for me to read them.









This was inspired by real events. Not that it matters. But when those events were transpiring, I remember thinking, even in the moment, that they held some hard to put into words significance. I've tried writing this so many times over the years, but not until recently, experimenting with the prose form, did I find an aesthetic that would enable me to write with a useful disinterest. So here, in its most fictionalized form, a "Certain Perspectives" that finally seems to be getting at the truth.