by Brandon Horne
From the top he didn’t hear the shouting anymore. The raucous drivers below couldn’t see him, so none of their unwanted jeers were directed his way. That didn’t mean the same were true in the other direction. Leaning on his right leg, he placed the flyer underneath his left as padding from the bolt head digging into his skin. His hands were raw from the climb, and his feet burned still from the asphalt below. The summer heat made it difficult to walk barefoot on the black surface until a couple of hours after sunset. At least the river had provided relief. His clothes lay on the banks, waiting, stinking from the putrid water and weeks of sour body odor. His pills were there too, the ones he stopped taking two days ago. There was no reason to take them if he were still going to live this way, wandering the shadows, horrified of his own mind. The flyer said it didn’t have to be that way anymore. It said he could be a new man; if only he cleansed himself, he would be reborn. Stroking his matted beard he knew he’d been unsuccessful. Shining upward the spotlight reflected from his ass giving company to the lonely pockmarked face hovering in the sky. The bullhorn screeched as the blue clad man coaxed him from his perch. Beginning his moonlit descent he clung tightly to the paper, hoping that the cop could tell him how it worked, how to be cleansed.