things that are lit from inside, like something that opens up the breath, the inhale, the air-

January 25, 2012

So you say: I want to read books that are good for me. I say: well then, we can always start with Chesterton. Even if there are people watching now, that doesn’t preclude sensible conversation about intelligent topics. Good books. Lists. Theories. You say: yes.

You say: my hands smell like vomit. I say: it’s probably satay sauce. You were washing up and had to stick your hands into the floaty bits to fish out the plug.


Then you say: but my hands still smell weird and I’ve washed them over and over again with different kinds of soap. They’re really dry, now.

I say: All the perfumes of Araby. Try the lavender-olive oil.


You say: good books. I say: Well. You: no, I mean books that are good for me. What are they? So I sit down and make a list, fingers smudgy on the keys with the scent of lavender. Here it is: Chesterton. Here it is: McDonald, George, though his writings are a little more dated, a little stranger. Here: Alcott’s Little Women, wholesome and good. Here: Tales of the Kingdom, lost and found, here the friends you carry with you. Here the stories you have yet to tell. those are yet to come.

you say: there is a seagull outside, and his voice sounds very near and yet very far. it is a cry that carries.


here: Hopkins; though his voice is not a story, his eyes are. his heart is. here: R.S. Thomas, the via negativa, the lost and the always-losing. here: Donne. here: all the things that remind  me of-

you interrupt to note there is a vacuum outside the door. my flatmate, I say. she is vacuuming.

–  of what I am made for, what comes, what eventual fate assuages me when I cannot even put one word in front of another. you say: is this one of those times? I say: yes.


you say: is there anyone else. I say: perhaps. I say: I wish there were. I wish there were more.

you say: you will have to tell your own.

I wish there were more.


you: are trying.
I: wish I knew how. how few there are!

I wish there were more.
I wish there were more.


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