In that lit window in Bushwick halfway through the hardest winter I cut plexiglass on a table saw, coaxing the chalked taped pane into the absence of the blade, working to such fine tolerance the kerf abolished the soft-lead line. I felt your eyes play over me but did not turn—dead people were not allowed in those huge factories. I bargained: when the bell rang I would drink with you on Throop under the El, quick pint of Night Train but you said no. Blood jumped from my little finger, power snapped off, voices summoned me by name, but I waved them back and knelt to rule the next line.
From A Night in Brooklyn by D. Nurkse. Copyright © 2012 by D. Nurkse. Reprinted with permission of Alfred A. Knopf. All rights reserved.