Listen to this piece read by the author

There is a plot in the back of my building.
Not the size of the asteroid.
Not what four
hyper-crenellations of a reef would have held when there were
reefs. It’s still here. I must not
get the time
confused. The times. There is a coolness in it which would have been new
Spring. I can’t tell if it’s
smell, as of blossoms which would have been just then
beginning, or of loam. Through this
green sensation is
a thing which threads & pushes
up. What is it pushes it. Whatever pushes it we
must not get the feelings confused, the feelings of this – in this –
now. One of us looks in
the field guide. One of us looks up to where the sky had been.
Our prior lives press on us.
Something with heavy re-
collection in it
presses. Not
history anymore of course but
like it. Is it five minutes or 500 years. Can we pencil that
in. Next to the ashheap. The windowless classroom or what we still call class-
rooms. Out of habit. Which feel, as the monitors speak, like
they’re filling with snow. Each creature sits
alone. Is that what it is, a
creature. It feels like a resurrected thing, this sensation I have of a
creature. I carry certain stains with me. I can imagine
loneliness which is an error I know. I think of causes &
effects which is a form of regret. I imagine this veil
shall be lifted again and something like a face in a mirror
appear. And it will be me. Will be a room as rooms used to be to us.
And us in them.
As a family or as lovers. We shall be lifted and we shall touch
in the old way. Just a hand on another. Not meaning that
much but still a small weight. With
meaning. A feeling of a harbouring inside which reminds one of having a
mind. A feeling that one could
die for instance.
So there was
mystery, hope, fear, loneliness.
A sudden alarm from not-knowing and being startled by an in-
comprehensible terror or some other reaction
to change. There was
change. A person could be-
come. You could look into a face &
not know. There was rain & you would hardly notice.
It could rain for hours. The face would be there inside
its otherness, the way its body, which you could not imagine the in-
wardness of, moved, each one
differently, completely
differently. Why is it now you summon
streets. How they ran everywhere away. You could be in a strange
place and not know. You could be
lost. You could be as if
thrown away from the real. A trembling thing. A
journey. Lost yes – but not wrong in being. And from there you
could see a face which was a stranger. And it
would have a look which you had to wait for.
Because it was its look.
Because you could not program it or request it.
Because it was not yours.
Not yours.
And when it came your way like a strange turning
it brought a gaze with it. An ex-
pression. A thing given to you you had not made or owned or seen
That’s all. You do not know how to go on from here.
You do not know how to imagine further
into the past.
You want to remember what it was to see a look.
There is one look among all the unprogrammable looks you want to recall.
You raise your hands to your face to feel for it, can you force it.
It was like this:
someone turned your way.
It was a free turn. It was made by them freely.
And what they did then was this.
You had done something. You
seemed to become un-
masked. You
had done something you should not have done. You felt in you that u
wished you had not.
And they did something with their free face,
they tossed it out at you,
a thing not yours to dial-up or own – a thing free – a free thing –
they forgave you.
You are not sure you know what this means. But you are sure this happened once. You
were a thing
that required it.
And it was a thing which was not exact, not on time, not wired-in,
which was able to arrive in
time – just in time – & could be

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