Skinny People Shadows – Introducing Georgia Park

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[Pictured: Georgia Park]

Skinny People Shadows by Georgia Park

We needed money to get the hell out of the heat and move on

from  Panama City,

the hostel’s communal fabric couches that smelled like feet

where the hippy guests united against the use of deodorant,

lounging in the combined stench of everyone that’s ever visited

listening to the sound of fruit flies buzzing in the kitchen

 

But there was only one bus out the next morning

cash up front

so we embarked on the scariest ATM walk ever

through Casco Viejo

against the clerk’s wishes

with equal parts desperation and reluctance

 

The ancient hunks of architecture were technically abandoned,

really filled with squatters

I thought we were hurrying down a lonely street,

until I heard someone beckoning through a broken window

a hoarse, whispered yell

“Vas aca!” followed by cackling laughter

the kind when nothing’s funny except faulty brain structure

The shadow of a misshapen cat suddenly lands before us,

skittering in a demented zig zag pattern,

howling.

 

The park that was so lively that day is empty

save a few scattered skinny people shadows,

who all turn to look in our direction and continue to watch us.

It feels like all conversation on the street stopped once we entered

but we are walking so fast it’s hard to tell

 

I feel conspicuous,

so obviously scared and outnumbered.

Everyone is watching. Should we slow down to look confident?

No. We are the only outsiders. They see tourists

Vulnerable no matter what.

 

My companion goes into the ATM booth

telling me to wait outside and guard it.

I do, all the while thinking

I can’t help us.

What will I do if something happens?

I see a hulking figure heading my way from a distance

and keep my eye on it

It turns out to be a woman and I’m relieved momentarily

like I would be in a more familiar part of the city

Until I realize here, that probably means nothing.

I stop breathing,

steel myself for something awful

not knowing what to do, how to prepare

I’m about to freeze and let it happen

I’m helpless

 

She speaks in English as she passes me-

She simply says “Be careful.”

At first I thank god she only passed

now I’m sorry to see her go.

 

We leave the ATM and everyone understands

we just got money

We rush back toward the hostel

 cursing the decision to ever leave it.

I don’t want to die yet, I’m not ready.

 

On the way back we are silent,

listening to more than one pair of footsteps behind us.

We speed up without speaking. They also speed up.

He tells me to run.

I do, forgetting everything else, forgetting why I even have to-

I had to forget so I could focus on how to run fast,

fast enough to outrun myself.

I don’t have time to look back, so I don’t know what’s chasing us.

I can’t visualize my monster, but I have a realization dawning inside me.

 

Heavy and nostalgic, aware my life may be slipping,

a sense of goodbye, at least to the life I knew

hoping for death, scared of something sicker.

Somewhere, I realize that I may never see my mom again.

All the while, I keep running.

I go quick in a whirring panic

until suddenly we reach our street

I don’t hear them

but I’m not sure of anything yet.

 

My ears are aware of my blood pumping through them.

I recognize the hostel door while I’m pushing it and respond with a smile,

elation.

I still don’t look back

I don’t want to know my monster.

It doesn’t matter.

We’re home safe, back at the putrid smelling home base-

Happiest above all,                                               to have made it.

 

Georgia Park (Sudden Denouement Literary Collective)

Private Bad Thoughts

Georgia Park Facebook

Georgia Park Twitter

[We are pleased to have Georgia Park as a  member of Sudden Denouement. Please take a moment and more of her work at Private Bad Thoughts.]

Author: Sudden Denouement

A Literary Collective

9 thoughts on “Skinny People Shadows – Introducing Georgia Park”

    1. It was a really good poem to help me get over my fear of public speaking. Because when my hands and voice shook people just thought I was a good performer. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As a younger man I spoke with no fear, almost spontaneous, played my audience, then as the years came the realisation I knew little, fear crept in, more preparation, quite glad now those days behind me, the truth is I now know I knew nothing … it was fun though! Good luck to you … I’ll keep reading.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I like to think some of my other poems will make you feel euphoric and in love or bloated and gassy or silly and young instead of those things ❤ Keep reading. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

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