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Kiotara anthem /3: I got my own bucket

Pain is as total as a lover. As I found out later.

When I was a child I imagined love as a glass well. I could lean over the glass brick ledge and dabble my hands in it and come up shining. It was not a current, it was not a torrent, but it was deep and at its bottom, flowing. I knew it was flowing by the noise of the water over the subterranean pebbles.

Were there ships in there and ports that depended on them, and harbours where people naturally built their settlements? I saw the world beneath the water only by reflection. To enter it would have meant climbing into the well and letting myself drop away. My mother cautioned me against swimming.

Later, when I was beginning to ripen, I met a girl my age carrying two buckets. She plunged them into the pellucid waters, took one for herself, and gave the other to me. I had never held so much water. Never found any container that could. I lost interest in the well. She gave me my own bucket.

When I met him he wanted to shut out temptation. I wanted to shut it in. My father used to warn me never to turn my back on the Serpent. He was right that the enemy of Paradise is already inside. My mate used to laugh at my Jewishness but wasn't the serpent already right there under the foundations of our house right then? Once or twice I caught him drinking from the bucket.

The water had become stale and dirty, and one day he took what was left and threw it in my face. No escape now, I stank of it: I smelled like the sluicings from a slaughterhouse.

So in the parallel hours I melted into the curve of time like a limp triangle, and from its sturdy bridge I felt the solid glass and I saw my girl coming back to me. She said she had never left and I believed her because she bore me her waters again.

Let there be light. All her light was very wet.

And slippery. And it melted us and mixed us until we dissolved together.
And it was just in time, in that curve.

And in all curves.

=================================

adapted from :Jeanette Winterson, "Gut Symmetries" (c) 1997

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