[Rotting Silver] “Whisper at Rush Hour” by B. T. Newberg

Wake, my lover!

Your carbon monoxide has put you to sleep,

But wake!


She was softly stepping barefoot between the lanes,

Between the honking, stopping, plodding, clogging.

Her eyes were plain as smoke, her hair as blowing paper.

They took no notice of her,

Though they missed her by inches.


Come with me, she said.

Get out of your car.

Join me in the empty spaces between the lanes.

Make love to me here.

I will show you the way back home.

Kiss me.


Never mind the drivers, she said.

They don’t see us.

We are invisible as dandelions.

We are inaudible as pigeons cooing.

We are forgettable as the taximan’s thank you,

As a blemish in the asphalt,

As newspaper blowing in the street.

Kiss me and I will show you something beyond stop and go.


Let the fuel tank go empty.

Let the exhaust dissipate.

When you have me, where else do you need to go?


Wake, my lover!

Your carbon monoxide has put you to sleep,

But wake!


Get out of your car.

Become naked with me.

They do not see us.

We do not exist to them.

But to each other,


We are all that is real.

Rotting Silver is a column devoted to this Earth in all its tarnished radiance: poetry, prose, and parables of ugliness alloyed with joy.

A version of this piece was first published at The Witch’s Voice.

The Author: B. T. Newberg

B. T. Newberg

Since the year 2000, B. T. has been practicing meditation and ritual from a naturalistic perspective. He currently volunteers as Education Director for the Spiritual Naturalist Society, where he is creating an online course in naturalistic spirituality. His writings can also be found at Patheos and Pagan Square, as well as right here at HP.

Professionally, he teaches English as a Second Language.  After living in Minnesota, England, Malaysia, Japan, and South Korea, he currently resides in St Paul, Minnesota, with his wife and cat.

After founding HumanisticPaganism.com in 2011 and serving as managing editor till 2013, he now serves as advising editor, and feels blessed to be a part of this community.

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