After the Owl & Pussycat Swam Away

mystic clouds and mountaintop

He knew that when he had enjoyed her last, her company, the whole thing had been fatalistic. She’d dined on sautéed scapes, and he on venison sausage. “We are in the middle of somewhere and somewhere else,” she had said, while he poked a slice of meat with four metal tines held backwards, and said nothing in reply, and waited.

Two years’ time had gone by, and his turned-in toes again met her red boots on the edge of the sidewalk. She was pregnant now and uttered, “There is the moment when short term passes into long term memory, and that point is the making of nostalgia.” And though he could have quoted easily a favorite stanza by Emily Dickinson, he did not.

Once, all night, he’d spoken to a Swiss girl, maybe it was 1967, or maybe 1988, who knows, it is all the same, and never touched her, not even her elbow, where, if you stroke a woman’s forearm, he by another was later in 2066 informed, all women therein fall in love. That night’s memory also became awash in conjugating sixteen tenses in Arabic, and reciting all their principle parts.

There seem to be in this world elfin historians, and others as miserable as soot. It is as common as the dirt between the variegated eyes that make up the rainbowed arc of the peacock’s wide-spread feathers, as ordinary and as confusing and as spectacular as that.

He walks without beauty for it, somewhere afar in a land even east of Nod. It is a desert where nobody goes, not even Urthona, even the dead. It is past all Being of being, beyond and before Memory and Time itself, where perhaps there might ramble a few stray hairs, some blades of grass, and a handful of nibblish goats.


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