To not see

It was on the corner of Farol and 12th. It was snowing on top of three days’ rain, which had hardened into black ice. He turned away before he saw. His eyes were already squinted against the wind, and his vision narrowed by icy lashes, but just to be safe he made sure his face could see no red, yellow or green lights, no people, bicycles, or trucks. He didn’t want to be a witness, for a thousand reasons. The flood of sounds that surged from the intersection buffeted the fence and signs at his side, sank into the back of his coat, but through nearly meditative effort his ears heard nothing but the crunch under his feet. He walked away toward 13th Street, running his bare hands over the skin of his jaws, a habit he could not drop. The skin was numb from the endless stings of snowflakes, and felt as if it were someone else’s face, someone else’s tensed jaw, bearing someone else’s thousand reasons.

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