3:33

walk

by Hunter MacKenzie

We sleep three hours,
a regimen made for mania,
all night on the streets,
walking and walking
and talking to strangers.
Hopes raised and dashed,
each one with the possibility
of infinity.

We leave notes
in the car park,
queries to the universe,
under the open sky,
the dark but wide-open sky,
teeming with signals
from beyond.
Occasionally we receive
a cryptic response,
enough to keep us
delirious.

We pace past the coffee shop,
past the shuriken boys
with spiked hair and trenchcoats,
past the old theater with
rocking-chair seats
and concrete gods
watching over the entrance.
We watch for signs.
We walk.
We wait.
Always waiting,
walking,
watching.
Everything is significant
except that which is
not.

We burn candles and bury them
tied in red cloth,
exactly three hundred and thirty-three paces
from the derelict fountain,
near the railroad,
during a lunar eclipse.
Three threes make nine.
Three threes are the number of chaos.

We hope that the freight train derailment
three nights later
is unrelated.
It may be metaphorical –
a possible indication of
the condition of my brain –
but I won’t believe it until
three years later.
For now it’s only
another suggestion of
delays and dashed hopes.

Later in time,
when the threes and nines
have loosened their hold,
and I have no streets to walk
and I can see no stars to consult
and I have given up the search
because I no longer know
what I’m hunting,
and hope has run out before time,
I will still be restless,
still be awakened
each night
at
3:33.

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