Excuse me,

I should be toying with poems and books and whatnot, but today I’d rather write about the boy with sore hands. Or the girl on the platform holding a gesture in her palms, something lost halfway between hello and farewell. Her lover on the other side, he never saw it, the thing inside her hands, he had turned his head away just then, and the girl doesn’t know it yet, but it’s likely they will never meet again. I might or might not have been this girl once. But you will have to excuse me, I’d rather turn my head to the other side and write about the woman holding her sick child by the arm, going up the street, and in case I do, it will also be about me, a stranger following behind. Each hand in hand with their own pain. Excuse me: I prefer the very small, the faintest  tracks, the common places, the things people lose on the floor. If you ask me about literature, politics or my research project, I will most likely tell you the story of the baby bird that fell on my porch sometime ago, his parents kept hovering around him, he was screaming so hard! and trying to fly back home, but he didn’t know how, he hadn’t learnt to use his wings yet, the bird that quietly died alone in the rain sometime later. All the sad stories in the world are just this story. I held the dead bird in my hands, a halfway gesture between hello and farewell, and I threw him on the trash can. His parents never came back. In fact, he was still alive when they left. You know me, I speak of hard things, but I do it softly. I haven’t washed the dead bird off my hands, and I am writing to you with my eyes on the floor.

Katsushika Hokusai. Pair of sissors and sparrow. s/d. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

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