Eyes, Underground

Makeshift machete in hand, some blood still in his body, he moves forward through mud and tile, leaning against the curved corridor wall lined with metal frames and layers of peeled posters showing bright beaches, bright eyes, shiny cars and theater stars. He follows the absent-minded beat down the corridor, through a fork and a portal, until it reaches a spill of light.

He’s at the tube platform now, where yellow battery-powered work-lights reveal a young man with an army jacket and headphones on, drumming on the seat of a stalled tube car, peeled open like a tin. The man’s facing the wrong way, and seemingly deaf under his headphones, but between them a camera hangs from the ceiling. Probably long dead.

“Should keep your ears open wider than your eyes down here,” he says to the drummer, testing his hearing. No change in the beat. The drummer has a duffel bag on his back.

He hefts his machete and moves across the tile — no mud this far down — and stops directly under the camera. It hums as it rotates.

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