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from The Stranger

There were many people about but I saw nothing of a turning to the winds being thrown down. I put fabrics on to say my room has all but disappeared. I did it well. For a moment all was cold within me but the country folks set a fire about and I moved in and made ale out of the things they couldn’t finish.

Lottie’s face told the story of a fool but I laid with her and said that she could be made out of coins. We heard gossip around town that our room drummed. That as far as they could tell, the things behind me had gone and I was becoming a “two-wheeled cart to tote laundry.”

“A little something is better than a slit to the throat” so I made stones for us to lay on. We disappeared in and out of swiftness—Lottie was made to make a man’s fingers look up and call for death without winds. If the attention of the bay made bodies shift, Lottie’s lips would soon taste again of salt, of hills now buried. We slid so easily into a rolled up stretch of sea. If the place we went to find would be a dangerous one than I was blind and my ship would not pass by another night or another storm.

***

The first time I killed a man I saw myself not as a handsome man but everyday as a small boat with no washing. I touched my tongue to his lips and saw the sea flashing not a quiet darkness but a set of teeth lost inside the mouth of an owl or a large size me dying upon the bow with no one finding me attractive.

The ill winds were sure of a chance to pick me up not but an hour later. Wherever I went I took shores and made holes in them. I did not break rocks with a crew. I was huge and a worn sentiment against the cliffs. If I had met Black Tom then, I would have made a furious entrance out of his veins. They saw me and said “a fool or a poet” but every day I took the ladder and tied it to my chest. And every day I climbed into the sea to forget breathing, and into the mines to forget light so they would not talk long before tying a rope around their own poorly driven fists and I would scream “LET THE TRAINS FINISH YOU OFF! I WILL NOT BE A PAINTER TODAY!”

Posted 09/22/09
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