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Nighthawks Oceania

A painting by Jennifer Davis

A noodle bar in Japan inspires the author to think of Edward Hopper's classic painting Nighthawks.

In a city of loners men in suits hunker over bowls of ramen. You must forgive my useless glimpses, to draw conclusions would be unfair. They’re taking up room. Our ramen bar an extension domicile between time off and work time. What Hopper saw in his American city is my version of elemental awe. Night and no one to pass judgment. I’m here with my bosses, dear Monk, dear Coltrane. We’re happy and unfound. Take this colored sheet of paper and fold it in the prescribed creases then pull out a bird, a solitary vireo, a swan, no, a woman turned into a swan and a god in hot pursuit. I want Monk to stop spinning like a lonely planet, I want Coltrane to assure us that we’re an island—that we’re the night and also the ocean. …

From Sightseer in this Killing City by Eugene Gloria, published by Penguin Books, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. © 2019 by Eugene Gloria.

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