a bird on the ledge,
sufficient against opening
the window to see clearly—
A dust-storm obliterated
the afternoon light for an hour—
my mother was left isolated
in fear on the street.
makes its claim upon light.
He sat on a rock in the field, singing to the sheep. Another day, he sang Mahler to the trumpeting elephants in the zoo. As we drove through the gateway, a dog with a crippled back leg came out to meet us. Later we went down to a restaurant by the sea, sharing a meal of fish and octopus and drinking wine. Fragments of plaster, some with reed impressions, suggested the remains of houses built of plant material—palm fronds, he thought—and plaster. From the street below, the old actress could be seen standing at the mirror framed in lights, preparing for the evening performance. The boy’s limbs now affected by the medication, he found that he could move only with difficulty; so his mother helped him to walk the short distance to the hospital. After a long night of drinking his friend returned home, and removed several eggs from the refrigerator for juggling. A single sandal-print impressed in the pavement, rapidly filling with rainwater. On the floor of his bedroom he had arranged his clothes in pile after pile.
Gulls, motionless on posts by the water’s edge; one turned its head to look at you when you came near. He walked along the path by the estuary, small boats out in the distance. Waking in distress from a dream of a friend’s death. Even the gargoyles defeated him in his attempts at depicting the edifice. It was a map of heaven, yet one he couldn’t follow. Shadow or stain, unfolding beneath the table. His earliest book, never finished, was entitled We Shall be Friends in Paradise. A floor of crystal, shot with blue and purple, and green. As the train pulled out, the conductor announced that they would be going on to their final destination without stopping at any intermittent stations. She had to sit on a tiny, brightly coloured chair to address the children. After her talk, she gave them cherry tomatoes, which most of them spat out. The final, almost empty images. To look, to lose, to meet or be met, to disappear.
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