A piece of paper on the street, beat up and torn, was attractive for some reason. I picked it up, it was partly drenched; the words were slipping off the page. It wasn’t a love note, neither was it made of words of hate. It spoke of resuscitation, but from what, I did not understand. I read it over and over again, and it remained, dampening my hand. A man bumped into me, his coffee now on my jacket. Watch it, he tells me and resumes his hustle. I forgot New York was my land. Back to the note, I read again, but why can’t I understand? Hieroglyphics shield the page, but language I understand. So I need a translator? Hire him, I can.
The Translator’s small office dances with shadows, lit by the flames of a grand fire. His arm-chair is cushioned with tough leather and an intricate side table stands proudly beside it. A bottle of whiskey and two crafted glasses ornament a crystal tray on the table. He offers me a seat in a secondary guest chair, antiquated yet still able.
He delicately takes the note and dries it, the words have stained my hand. What does it mean, sir? Please make me understand. His eyes looked into mine and scanned for thoughts I do not have, yet he continued to scan and scan. These words, where did you get them? He asked.
“Sir, I found them on the street, please do not misunderstand.”
“Misunderstand, I do not, child. It is you who does not comprehend.” He stepped back and clutched the note. It crumbled in his hand.
“Wait, what are you doing? Please, just tell me what it means.” I pleaded but he backed away and turned towards his fire. The note went up in flames.
“Why!” I screamed. I felt the hurt in my chest. But, why for these strange words I just met? I left The Translator with anger in my head. No words he said made any sense. The note was resuscitational and so revive it I would. I took some paper out of my bag and with my pen I wrote:
Empty words and flowerless buds
Flow down dried rivers
To lands lost
Where leaves of three aren’t poisonous
I folded the note in half and put it to rest back on the streets of New York.