The entries are usually in black. This entry is painted in blue. Paint head. Everyone
trying on a new voice for size. In separate accounts, a corridor. Dust and rank, humid
echo. Your footsteps carry here. You weave among stone columns, erected to an
open sky. Walls nonetheless. Across the plaza, Thoth. Ausar. Auset. Horus. Thoth’s
plume extends from a point perpendicular to his navel. If you dared, you’d touch it.
You cannot read his face. My cartouche is open, you tell him. His dull eyes regard
eternity with a desert hound’s acuity. My heart is a pendant, you tell him. Beneath
your feet, lost alabaster gleams.
You are wandering the corridors of Never and If Only. The doors are painted on the
walls, a pantheon of trompe l’oeil. You draw you hand along cool plaster. Light
emanates form the stones on the floor. Nut passes the sun through her anus. Nothing
In the white house there is a terrace on top of the garage. The shutters are red,
baleful eyes. You tell time by the muezzin. At the end of the journey there’s some
kind of danger. You cover your hair and walk to the beach. Old women grip the ends
of their safsaris in their teeth. After two greasy pastries, you watch the boys tear
their shirts off and race into the Mediterranean. As if in a thousand broken
thermometers. Pretty brown boys and mercury. They will not die from it. The same
reassurances. This may just pinch a little bit. You going to feel some stinging. Now
this might burn for a second. This might hurt but it won’t kill you. Dogs and pine
trees. Pebble after pebble.
Darting flies leave red blotches the size of a quarter. A man sleeps wrapped inside a
palm frond on the side of a dusty road. Cows bawl all night long for their masters.
The birds wake you with their cries. Even the sea heaves with sighs. All is calling.
Will you leave this dengue plateau? The hills of Laventille wither beneath a moon
that beats back the darkness of the plain. Shadows call her name to a lightening sky.
Forebearance forgets. Blank sheets of rain bruise bougainvillea. Against hope and the
force of the sea you weave her face in the sand, the mask memory leaves you.
R. Erica Doyle