black asphalt

I want you to take all the photos you can. Take photos of mundane things, of the black puddles in asphalt after storms and of the white blooms of dogwood trees, take photos of your family watching TV. Imagine you are shooting the b roll for a documentary that won’t be made for a century. Let the future see the world as it once was, before we broke the puzzle and bent the pieces.

What to Expect - WildeHopps

“Wilde! We need you over here!”

Nicholas Wilde’s head snapped up at the sound of his name, and he winced against the smell of burning rubber and metal.

Of all the days for Judy to be out of town, he thought grimly, stepping carefully around the shattered glass on the crowded Zootopia street. It was mid-afternoon on a muggy day, and heat wafted from the sticky black asphalt in visible waves. Sweat poured down Nick’s back, pooling unpleasantly around his uniform, and he mentally noted how nice a shower sounded for when he got home later.

Of course, most of this mindless mental chatter was an effort to distract himself from the blood on the street, the mangled car wrapped around the street pole or the dread he felt at working his first-ever fatal car accident.

“What’s wrong?” he asked McHorn as he hurried up to the twisted vehicle. “I thought we got both of the bodies out already. Shouldn’t we be writing up the report?”

McHorn frowned deeply and pointed at the car, which in addition to becoming a metal pretzel, had also flipped onto its top. “I keep hearing movement in the vehicle,” he said. “But I can’t fit in. Can you squeeze in there and see what’s going on?”

Lovely, thought Nick.

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in undulation petal, full yellow bliss throw, sunlight edging, smooth black asphalt lane, upturn lips, callback reclaim, hair strands, city leaves, lake shores calling your eyelids. Remember the songs we plucked from the air, ripe and hanging, first come first served, last sung. I create a pocket to taste. You bow string your thoughts. Where did your black hair go? These demons play. You in denim drumming your leg.
—  Stimie

Top image by Brendan C. Hall/Courtesy of DeChant-Hughes & Associates

Onaje X.O. Woodbine grew up in inner city Boston and was on the path to his own NBA dreams — as a sophomore at Yale he was the team’s highest scorer. He was voted one of the top Ivy League players, but in a move that provoked the ire of his coach, he quit — to devote more time to his studies. He wanted to become, as he wrote in a letter to his coach, “the person I was meant to be.”

His new book Black Gods of the Asphalt invites readers to look at basketball differently, not just as a distraction from racism or as a path out of poverty, but as a sacred space where young black boys and men go “to reclaim their humanity.”

Hear his conversation with NPR’s Michel Martin here.

– Petra

And I saw it didn’t matter
who had loved me or who I loved. I was alone.
The black oily asphalt, the slick beauty
of the Iranian attendant, the thickening
clouds—nothing was mine. And I understood
finally, after a semester of philosophy,
a thousand books of poetry, after death
and childbirth and the startled cries of men
who called out my name as they entered me,
I finally believed I was alone, felt it
in my actual, visceral heart, heard it echo
like a thin bell.
—  Dorianne Laux, from After Twelve Days of Rain

o lord, become my salvation,
for i’ve given my thoughts away,
my nerves, veins, my skin,
for a boy who lives between stolen walls,
who cuts his kingdom out of his scars,
who sleeps on depravity,
and brands it,
onto his collar, glowing
like nicotine between his teeth.

o lord, become my salvation,
for i’ve learnt the taste,
of his skin, his blood, and the chasing alcohol,
seeping into his tongue,
that i’ve memorized the unwhole prayers,
murmured worshippings
sung into my chest,
by a boy who doesn’t believe,
while his fingertips of broken glass,
sew themselves into my bones,
shining shards between my ribcage,
medallions inches away from my lungs.

o lord, become my salvation,
for i’ve torn the ground,
rubber against asphalt, black against white,
for him,
all with him, not against,
to feel my bloodstreams
between the bassline, bleeding out
of his speakers,
vowed immortality by the molten streetlights,
yet promised absolution by his shaking teeth, uneven breath and crumbling hands,
nails wasting into my back, and his canines, upon red, purple skin.

o lord, become his salvation,
for he is in love with damnation,
and believes in disbelieving,
not in my half vacant hopes, prayers, but abandons,
his armoured heart, on the race tracks,
his dulled nerves glowing white cold,
a fire burns, trapped inside his windpipe,
on nothing but his own being,
the materials inside his blood,
the only things he entrusts in,
that he feeds himself to it
like a wolf,
obsessed with the reflected liquid moon,
and desperate to drown.

o lord, become his salvation,
for he loves the flames when they’re
gasoline-streaked bottles,
staining cracking windshields, but even more when they’re curled around his neck,
wrapped ropes inside his corrupted lungs
like a snare, a gallows built
after every sunset and too many bottles,
a halo of a noose ‘round his hair,
and my hands, twisting,
second hand smoke
exchanging through starving lips,
marks along his jaw printing cheap divinity,
white sunglasses lifted,
the dying boy,
another dying boy beside him,
we burn alive.

o lord, become our salvation.
for we’ve died, we’ve lost,
ourselves in each other’s lips,
sewn pieces of our souls,
into each other’s fingers,
lips, skin, and jaw,
and with a red string
threading through our wrists,
built our decadent kingdoms inside
our haunted minds,
we’ve become the cure,
in each other’s cyanide veins.

o lord, grant us forever.

—  for a boy who wears a crown, of gleaming guillotine, damned to destruction by his very own fingers and his very own dreams. // r.d

Context: Playing Dragonball Z, we were 2 groups of  11 year old twins, 2 sayian boys (Jin and Juriah), and my fiance and I are playing sisters named Yin and Yang (She requested I crossplay for this storyline). We are attempting to sneak into a red ribbon base to get a ball.

Juriah: We got this you girls stay here

Both botch

Both boys hop into a bush. Juriah’s Naginata sticking out the top

Jin: (pokes head out of top of bush) We’re bein Sneaky!

Both girls shake their head…Later

Yang: I think the boys got their dumb butts caught

Yin; We should rescue them!

I get a green blanket and we roll stealth…We continue to sneak along, past 12 guards, 3 tanks, and a dog until finally stopped by the NPC head of the base who only caught us because he stepped on our blanket. Note, Green blanket crawling across black asphalt, not caught.