DISCOVERY IS NOT a single act.
I must drastically restrict the range of admissible evidence.
A yucca pokes through the snow, as do some rocks, out and onto the sidewalk, or over it, the yucca’s spines over it, the sidewalk, which is sandstone. The street’s blocked off for drilling. A car makes a Y turn. I’m on the sidewalk, I walk carefully around the yucca. I’m on the sidewalk to walk carefully before drilling, while it’s quiet?
I walk an immeasurable distance.
On this block, a car turned completely over, a stylish man has a beautiful dog. Someone tells us the driver inside keeps changing the radio stations. They’re trying to talk her out. How did it get like that we wonder together and then split off.
The city’s drilling up this street so I can’t go down it.
A car rolls through a stop sign so I go behind it.
Turning left, to turn a corner, turned over, I look around a brick juncture, flush sandstone slabs and some trash, turn briefly, around, then continue on. I cross the street.
I follow a pursuit curve toward a semi as it pulls in front of a warehouse, and when it stops I’m able to cut it off, walk right up to the grill and look into it, steamy and hissing, and the driver looks down at me curiously so I’m caught; I give a little wave and walk back the way I came. I cross someone’s yard. The truck symbolizes a big feeling, I reason. My path toward it in the snow my measure.
I thought I had discovered something but so does everyone.
Okay, I’m looking for someone, he won’t let me find him. Each car has a possible outcome: I get in it, get hit by it, let my hand slide over a taillight, in the window his face, a stranger’s face, slush splashes up onto my legs. He’s in the concrete, the steel, the glass?
What counts? I can’t ask what I want to.
It’s safe for me to remain abstract. An answer a kind of owning.
The neighborhood’s construction unsettles the totally known. It will reset—that’s not discovery then. Just a prediction based on fact. What they’ll uncover’s already marked by flags and spray paint. I know this block. I’ll settle for precision, a refined prediction, some arrow, so not much’ll have to be dug up.
Does that remove him entirely? I’ve limited any evidence too narrowly, the range the length of my walk, curbed breadth, all that’s left a flicker of light, something glinting off an aluminum sign, or there was never anything to see.
A man whistles at me from a car. I shout fuck you! He shouts please!
The man with the dog rounds the corner; he nods and crosses; we’re walking in circles.
I look at markings on the sidewalk. The shadow of a yucca cuts through. The sandstone’s divots could be from any time—prehistory or whenever it was placed here or this week—from weather, or some violence. I walk around pried up asphalt, it’s loud. This—I want to see that it is and what it is—construction, ground, car, him—a suddenly upended vehicle materializing on the corner I was just on.
—in conversation with The Structure of
Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn
KELLY KRUMRIE is a writer and teacher based in Colorado. Her creative and critical writing appears in Tarpaulin Sky Magazine, Annulet, DIAGRAM, La Vague, Black Warrior Review, and others. She holds a PhD in English & Literary Arts: Creative Writing from the University of Denver.