five, wu, cinco, fünf
He zips past me on rickety wheels and sputtering pipes, cans of pent-up emotion, raw universe essence, rattling. Five cans, held together, that will explode and engulf him in the tattered baseball cap in blue and gold and red—heroic colors for an unheroic death—feathered flame. And to think that he spends his life ferrying around quintessence: clouds of philosophers’ stones and wisps of aether that taste of acid rain. I can hardly believe that the Charon of the cosmos with scuffed handlebars and burning rubber wheels has scratched my paint job, but only exhaust pipe sighs reach my lungs when I open my mouth (no language known to homo sapiens); sighs reeking of late nights and speedbumps and flat soda. He and the cans go hurtling off through a red light, red light, red lights and gold lights and blue lights, and spilled oil, luminescent.