All Juice, All Juice Is Mine

I walked through the whispering place, and the flowered park, until I came to the last of the food vendors, the brothers with the blanket covering their radishes. I found them on their knees, dirty rags in their hands, furiously scrubbing the concrete. But though their hands were raw and their rags were shreds, the footprints were not disappearing at all and glittered on the concrete like they were new and fresh.

The younger brother looked up to me and with tears in his eyes said nothing at all and I shook my head at him to let him know that he was a pitiful person attending to a futile chore.

"Your radishes are creating a moronic humidity under their blanket," I said.

"In that case, they are similar to the brain in my skull."

"Stop before there is nothing for you to do but languish here forgotten by all whose love you've let fall away like flakes of dry skin."

"Sir, help us. My brother is mute and deaf and nothing else will bring his current madness to its end."

"You are not mine. No."

I stepped around them and the interminable trees were hushed around us and as I strode away with unblinking eyes I balled my hands into good fists and let myself regret my lack of useless charity for only a few seconds before swallowing all empathy in my mouth, swallowing it into my throat and into my abdomen where it would be converted into fragrant pellets to be discarded quietly in a sweaty moment out of the sight of other human eyes.