by Julia Tolo

one

the world ran out of people
but we’re still here
we do normal things
take the subway home to
each other hold hands
when no one’s looking

we sleep in shifts
so the television won’t get lonely

 

two

in the center of town stands the figure of a large man. he is carved from stone and we put him there
because we wanted to remember what once was. there is a plaque with an inscription under his foot, but
we have forgotten how to read

we have forgotten most everything

time is bottled and sold here, below the man’s extended right hand. not because there is a lack of time,
because it brings us joy. sometimes we save time for later to open when we’re alone:

see how
it sticks
to the air

when there is no lack of time there is more need for rush. more need to act and fill and take up.

when there is no lack of time there is no need to hide, to cover, store away

still we persist. habits are the body

the body perceives the passage of time our minds cannot read

after some years we learned to move freely about the square

we learned to be our own towering figures

we impose ourselves on ourselves and our selves soar

in the center of town stands the figure of a large man. he’s there because we don’t know how to live in a world without shadows

 


Julia Johanne Tolo is from Oslo, Norway. She is the author of August, and the snow has just melted (Bottlecap Press). Her translations, poems and fiction have been published in or is forthcoming from Copper Nickel Journal, Asymptote Journal, Slice Magazine, Belladonna Chaplet 189, Cosmonauts Avenue and other places.

Featured image courtesy of mokastet.