Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chris Wiewiora: "Mass"

A huddle of the already arrested lie facedown, cheeks ironed into the asphalt, and handcuffs cinched behind their backs. They were supposed to be an example to the rest of us. And yes, the aura of pepperspray burns in our nostrils like hot sauce and the lingering static half-life from tasers tickle our uvulas. We jerk our shoulders forward, challenging: What, you think you can stop us?

Then there’s a quiet flare of white. Not a white flag of surrender, but a Victoria’s Secret push-up bra stuffed into a Bacardi bottle, filled with Shell gasoline. The crackle of a First Strike match head. A hint of sulfur. Potential.

Hesitation: Snuff out the wick. It can all be over. Throw it, throw it, throw it. Our chorus drowns out the thought of stopping short. We grab the still-lit bottle. Kinetic.

To try to finally disperse us, teargas launchers abracadabra. At the same time as the guttural huff of a tube clearing its throat of a canister, we catapult the Molotov. Our arms empty, but open. We watch the glass bottle and metal canister arc in the sky—crossing an invisible line—and then kiss.