Sisters four and brothers three, hangin' off the family tree
               Practicing for getting old - do you want your fortune told?

Elvis Costello and the Brodsky String Quartet, Jacksons, Monk and Rowe

(Ask me about Brooklyn and I'll tell you about...)

We own the streets, sitting on velveteen stoops and upholstered curbstones, melting into the concrete like icing in the sun. We stagger through a tumult of frayed tempers and missed directions, caught in a shaft of sunlight so godlike it singes, exposing us for what we are; we don't know what that is, can't even begin to accept the faces glimpsed in shop windows and chrome, but we know that they know that we are what we are. C'est la vie, say the old folks.

The throbbing neon replaces the electric whine of daylight and in that moment when the bridges burn, sanctified and holy, we wait. We wait for lost loves, stolen moments and the loneliness of last call, leaning back in a cheap parody of allure. Even that proves empty, a well-metered dissertation on the physics of sex.

Prostrated in deference to another nightless night, the band starts again. Something just south of Houston and west of Hollywood and Vine breaks inside us. To look up from the lavender straws that litter the bartop is to accept defeat. To look heavenward, to gaze up through the water-stained teak panelling and peeling plaster to a sky entirely ignorant of its own weight is to see things as they aren't, yet.

Living in Brooklyn is dying in Wichita, and Will MacKenzie is serving your drinks.