Monday, October 8, 2012

Later, the pieces of flesh have been put back where they started. The centering gives way to shifting from one foot to another and then the sky recedes like memory. I stand at the other end of the table, certain the objects laid out between us are meant to suggest something in the aggregate, to add up to a message like that one finds sometimes in a book pulled from the shelves at random in the library. Something scribbled in the margins, a statement or a question that addresses a need one has without ever before realizing it. That conjures it out of mid-air simply by stating that need in sentences half Gaelic and half English. Or fragments, it doesn’t matter. A high-toned whistling continues somewhere far off and makes us think of the inner workings of machines that haven’t been invented yet, that divide the air from the particles in the air and separates them out into a hundred different varieties, all for the purpose of reassembling them again at a later date and placing them in bottles with hand-written labels. I, for one, am sick at heart and ready to follow the game trail through the forest until it comes to a clearing and then see for myself what sort of structures have been built there, examine them carefully by the light of a torch. Most of these will have crumbled, ravaged by time and picked over by those in need of supplies. I imagine rooms one must climb by hand to reach and in the corners of these (assuming there are corners still) a child’s drawing of the family on yellowed paper. It looks strangely familiar, as if generated from my own past, but I know the past is something that doesn’t generate, that doesn’t so much as twitch the skin under its eyes. We have an hour to make it to the next destination and her panting suggests we will need that much and more, but still, I linger. I address people who are no longer among us, who have stepped off the platform and plunged down toward whatever lies beneath the platform without making much of a sound. Sometimes you could hear a whimpering, or a noise very like whimpering without the excess fear attached. I mistook it usually for commentary made by the wild creatures that occupied the adjacent hillside. The hares and the goats and the marmots mostly, those diminutive things that glanced disdainfully at us out of the corners of their eyes.        

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