ASCENT by Judson Simmons All stores are closed. The streets have died and are beginning their slow ascent beneath haloed streetlamps. Sidewalks run dim, darkness awakens inside the grocers and laundromats – like a hunger rising from the pit of a stomach. Today’s newspaper tells us yesterday’s news. The last car that drove past sat idling at a red light turned green – left turn signal flashing in cold rhythm, the blinker wrapping around an electric poll like a poster with someone’s lost dog. Believe me when I say I can count the number of stars littering this sky tonight. Believe me when I tell you that silence is the one thing we will carry forever. I’m tired of the simplest of things, tired of falling head first into a night that surrenders to darkness. Far from being at peace, even further from believing – let me tell you a story: it begins with silence, ends with silence.
Judson Simmons is a graduate of the Sarah Lawrence College graduate writing program, and holds a BA in English from the University of Houston. He also holds an MSEd in Higher Education Administration from Baruch College. His chapbook, The Hallelujah Hour, was published by Amsterdam Press, and his work has appeared in Pebble Lake Review, Folio, Evergreen Review — plus other journals.