The cliffs of Lima, Peru.

The centuries built made men die. The brick, the steel, the warmth, the bitter wind, the snow creased into the manhole filling the stitches, blackened and filthy in the crevices. Yellow lights glow underneath red and white. There is motion everywhere, the cars, people, planes with blinking red and white lights high above all pass. Even where it is still movement is near. People are within brick hovels, stories high. There is emptiness in this plan made by them, hundreds of years of them. It is the fullest of life anywhere could be.

These cities are all different. Sprawl, with used leg-extending child pushing mothers in line the link-chained swing sets clink, with moist hills unburdened by cement behind them and orange painted trucks rattle; with hotels with skinny pools and gold embrasures, with vistas of the ants beneath unknowing they’re being watches, and coopered oak water barrels, cobbled ground, and snaky rivers like gray eyes. Bathers plash in the reeds in man-made lakes underneath white-mooned skies. The chocked heavy cliffs fumble over gray interminable, implacable scrollwork of ocean. 

-Daniel Adler

By Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel Adler writes fiction and nonfiction and is finishing his MFA at University of South Carolina.

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