Long After the Fall of Capitalism, Greg Grummer

Judith Nelson, Axial Shift

Long After The Fall Of Capitalism


     I stopped running, dropped my head, shoulders, my hands on the shelf
of my legs, panting for a moment on the sidewalk, full of September sun.
There she was by her car, her child in a stroller. She saw me leaning there
looking at her and said: Would you like to come in? She pushed the stroller
into the dark and I followed, inside the garage, through a door, into a kitchen.

     The smell of pot roast. She took me to a back bedroom door and then past
the king sized bed with a crib next to it, to a bathroom with a shower. She left.
I stepped in. This house one showers in, certainly. This house, in a neighbor-
hood where all houses are fine. I don’t remember ever seeing her before. I got
out and took up a towel.

     Meantime she’d come in with her husband’s clothes. I put them on. The odor
of clean clothes. I was dry when I left and saw her asleep on the bed, her child
asleep, the afternoon, so complex, asleep; the sleep ongoing even as I went to
them and passed into the kitchen, the smell of water carrying its burden. The table set
for three. I went into the den and its family pictures plus a white carpet.

     There was no presence but wind entering drapes floating out and dropping back
onto… would I be staying for supper? She was there, her baby in hand, fat, chubby fat,
caught on hooks, this baby, this living room and a lack of wound perturbation, a lack

of Sunday, or any day other than this.

      Then, later, her husband, myself, and her with the baby at the table eating supper.
Talking about what the moon does, the grass, the last stages capitalism, etc., sound

of the wind, dust, letters, the meaning of fireflies; our talk, the night open to its last page;
the dark looking in at our movie through a window; the west doing its final burn.

     After supper her husband and I walk down the street and then further, through a
park to the river. We sit by the river. From the other side every now and then
the sound of gunfire. He asks what my plans are. I said: Well, you knew by the way I
came that I wouldn’t be staying.

Greg Grummer

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