Pender Street Venus rising and a waning crescent moon. The sound of Mahjong tiles and Cantonese opera from open upper windows. Next to midnight, spots of pearl and yellow light. Poorly cast shadows. Her red lipstick was black.
She was there to meet the clayish smelling Ogden. The tall and gaunt. This his only time on the street. In the dark. He ate the dark. She’d seen it run wet down his chin.
“I have the thing,” he’d told her over the telephone, earlier in the evening. “The thing you wanted. You asked and I have it. I’m looking at it now. You were right. It shines.”
“We’ll meet then,” she said. The radio soft, the music. “You know where, when.” Her sad eyes. The sun and horizon from her apartment window. She rang-off without saying goodbye.
She drank coffee in a cafe until the time was near. Melancholy patrons. Cigarette smoke. An outcast’s lips moving sitting next to her saying nothing.
An hour later on Pender Ogden held the thing out in his bony hand. “Orbits,” he breathed. “Just listen. Shafts of light. The mud of beginning. Early birdsong dawnings. Noons and midnights. Pages. The dark paint of whispers. Listen. Leaves. Flowers on a path. The night.”
She took it from him. It fitting like a cup in the saucer of her palm. Midnights. A clock somewhere. “It’s your season now,” Ogden said. “But it will not last.”