);

SNAPSHOT BEFORE THE INCIDENT by Brian Brunson

With no foreboding of the approaching cataclysm, an orange brown finch, pecking at fallen crumbs, is startled by a fat gray pigeon flying down; a nervous young man watches the barista behind the cart in the courtyard; the barista clears the moist used espresso grounds from the filter with two loud thwacks against the rubber bar as her phone chimes in a text message from that boy listed under her contacts as ‘tinydicpic’; the sun hits the four story glass building reflecting the five story concrete building opposite; a broad shouldered well-suited man holds the hand of his elderly father, slowly walking along the sidewalk; the air swirls ever slightly between the buildings, kicking up a napkin and a leaf; a bee flits between the flowers on the bush in the corner; a man, deep into middle age, his pot belly accentuated by his polo shirt tucked into his jeans, carries his mocha gingerly so as to not spill any; one lone nebulous cloud in the blue sky creeps toward the sun, but never quite covers it; a one-footed pigeon rests on the gravel landscape along the wall; the palo verde tree soaks up the spring sun; a teenager on the wooden bench pauses from his game app to trace with his eye the figure of a business woman rushing past, getting particularly stuck on the curve of her hips; a woman tells, with a tone of disapproval, her younger sister, “I understand, I understand”; the hazy daytime moon drifts towards the horizon; a woman stands in the sun outside her black sedan, searching through her pocketbook for any loose change to feed the meter.

A block away a man, naked, filthy, crawls out of the storm drain.

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