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Buoy the population of the soul
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Friday, 10. November 2006

Memory Wordspill



There they are, a group for thriteen and fourteen year olds; still unformed, intact, yet to be fractured or destroyed as each of them would be. I see them now, from this far distance, kids playing a game of late winter cricket, the sun warm against their brown bodies packed in school uniforms of bluish grey and white, the rotating arm as it releases a muddy tennis ball into the air, the shouts of catch catch as the ball is lofted into the sky, the sky in which he has placed himself, in the crook of a mimosa tree dropping its feathery flowers all around it, a mysterious skirt that he would remember as he places his hand along the seam of another one, this one of chinelle, in a cinema years later, these two educations into stuff that constitutes this world apart from indifference, and loss, seperated in time.

But that comes later, loss, what did he know of loss then? What did he lose yet? Maybe a foreign coin or two to cousins in unfair trades, maybe some friends when he switched schools, maybe an academic rank in an exam or two? Yes, yes, but you object, surely even then one is semi-aware of the fabric of loss, which is continuous, which reveals and covers everything? Look there he is glimpsing the smooth and silken thigh of the girl whom one of the boys in that group claims to have a desperate crush on as she is pushed higher and higher into the air on her swing, her mouth, delicate and perfect, an open whoop. There you see the skien of loss slipping over his tangential gaze for there is envy's small burn, as there is lust's. Her skin, smooth and taut like a fired clay jar, is unaware of this as he is unaware himself.

But won't there be moments of reviere in the following days when his eyes learn the secret language of desire as they, this group of friends and this girl, cycle in the same direction home after school? His eyes scanning the nape of her neck, the shell of her ear, the fact that her forehead crinkles into a nearly perfect ellipse, just about where she doesn't wear a bindhi for unlike him she is a Christian, the way her perfectly ironed school shirt sits on her back, and the small nubs of her adolescent breasts that become evident as she opens the gate of her house, and maneuvers her red bicycle into the yard of her house? Unformed, incoherent, not unlike the longing one later learns to carry in the limbs like sharpnel, yes, but already present in him even as he teases his friends for going ga-ga over silly girls.

But let us return to the mimosa tree - are you sure it is a mimosa tree? Yes, I see him, monkey like, perched there scanning the world, thinking of words. Whose words? Blake's for they were reading Blake at school then, energy is delight, cawing cawing like crows, those words without the force to sustain loss and losing yet, not yet.




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