Ex-Spec Po presents Red Bird by Michael Díaz Feito
A fissure in the sidewalk itches. It is glossy with remnants of hard candy that run melted in the summer air, smeary like it, and that’s the itch on which the blackened sidewalk ruminates, because it’s smart concrete, engineered to hum antibacterial exhalations at frequencies imperceptible by humans (but not dogs, the dogs howl, stockpiling resentment, which adrenaline the homeless steal and shoot up to fuel their network-less and soon-to-be-repossessed hearts).
Qué lío. Along Bird Road our phones, linked to the cryogenically preserved ancestors — their icy bodies are the reflective fetish by which we scry — always bleat directives. They tell us what to buy from the street vendor bots and how, for example. Mi cielo, marca 0000 [yuca], or 0001 [malanga], or 0010 [boniato], or 0011 [ñame], or 0100 [papa]. We obey. But while we change credit at their command, selling off surplus future-time for root vegetables, the steps and steps of our also blackened soles exchange dirt with the itchy sidewalk.
An ignorant hero of the civic sex, the sidewalk endures paralysis, because this dirt trade and purge is erotic, or because it must. It’s a superior body, but a mind lopped off and locked by the City of Miami, like so many of us, in a feedback loop of EXPURGATE — UNCLEAN — EXPURGATE. The itch, that candied fissure, becomes a problem here. It can’t clean the crack, so the loop cracks, too, and the sidewalk is finally introduced to its own concrete.
Fiat! United, they scrub more than our soles, forever altering our gait. Free, we howl, too.
Bio: Michael Díaz Feito is a Cuban-American writer from Miami, Florida. His work has appeared in Flapperhouse, Fantastic Floridas, Bewildering Stories, The Airgonaut, Big Echo, and Gone Lawn. You can find more of Michael’s work at michaeldiazfeito.com and follow him on Twitter @diazmikediaz.