...~^^%@##                                          ##@%^^~...
..~^^%@###                                          ###@%^^~..
...~^^%@##                                          ##@%^^~...
....~^^%@#                                          #@%^^~....
.....~^^%@                                          @%^^~.....
....~^^%@#                    ^^                    #@%^^~....
...~^^%@##                   ^  ^                   ##@%^^~...
..~^^%@### ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~^    ^~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ###@%^^~..
...~^^%@##                   ^  ^                   ##@%^^~...
....~^^%@#                    ^^                    #@%^^~....
.....~^^%@                                          @%^^~.....
....~^^%@#  in a black rubbery sleep i dream about  #@%^^~....
...~^^%@##         cold boiling asphalt and         ##@%^^~...
..~^^%@###        crimson emergency flares...       ###@%^^~..
...~^^%@##                                          ##@%^^~...
....~^^%@#                    ^^                    #@%^^~....
.....~^^%@ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~^  ^~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ @%^^~.....
....~^^%@#                    ^^                    #@%^^~....
...~^^%@##                                          ##@%^^~...
..~^^%@###    they were tearing down statues, and   ###@%^^~..
...~^^%@##  bellowing their manifest, in the rain,  ##@%^^~...
....~^^%@#               in the dark,               #@%^^~....
.....~^^%@                                          @%^^~.....
....~^^%@#     and something followed me out, a     #@%^^~....
...~^^%@##  yearning. a memory of being touched by  ##@%^^~...
..~^^%@###     a ray from a raspberry sun. still    ###@%^^~..
...~^^%@##   there, everything would be gritty and  ##@%^^~...
....~^^%@#   full of tar. rain upon it. but then a  #@%^^~....
.....~^^%@  few bright and colorful anomalies. and  @%^^~.....
....~^^%@#            a promise for more.           #@%^^~....
...~^^%@##                                          ##@%^^~...
..~^^%@###  like waking up with a business card in  ###@%^^~..
...~^^%@##              your pocket...              ##@%^^~...
....~^^%@#                                          #@%^^~....
.....~^^%@   a feather boa wrapped around a velvet  @%^^~.....
....~^^%@# lizard, surfacing for milliseconds at a  #@%^^~....
...~^^%@##    time, calling, tugging at my arms.    ##@%^^~...
..~^^%@###   begging me to sink back down and be    ###@%^^~..
...~^^%@##  with them, with their kind. easy to get ##@%^^~...
....~^^%@#  washed away from the tether, from the   #@%^^~....
.....~^^%@               way back up.               @%^^~.....
....~^^%@#                                          #@%^^~....
...~^^%@##                                          ##@%^^~...
..~^^%@### but i cannot go. the consequences would  ###@%^^~..
...~^^%@##  be too large. especially since i'm in   ##@%^^~...
....~^^%@#    the work mill and they've got their   #@%^^~....
.....~^^%@   eyes on me already. the feeling will   @%^^~.....
....~^^%@#  wane, and i will miss it, and cease to  #@%^^~....
...~^^%@##       understand. like every day.        ##@%^^~...
..~^^%@###                                          ###@%^^~..
...~^^%@##                    ^^                    ##@%^^~...
....~^^%@#                   ^  ^                   #@%^^~....
.....~^^%@ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~^    ^~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ @%^^~.....
....~^^%@#                   ^  ^                   #@%^^~....
...~^^%@##                    ^^                    ##@%^^~...
..~^^%@###                                          ###@%^^~..
...~^^%@##                                          ##@%^^~...
....~^^%@#                                          #@%^^~....
.....~^^%@                                          @%^^~.....
....~^^%@#                                          #@%^^~....
...~^^%@##                                          ##@%^^~...