Reading The Blue Clerk, 156

“Verso 44”

It’s not that I always felt safe, but I knew, early on, that someone had to stay while others escape. Each leaving was someone else’s duration. Some understood their escape more important than relation. It was not freedom they were seeking, you understand. Escape without freedom. It was not freeing, you understand. A body could flood with panic. And try not to drown.

The body is an emergency.

Later, other forms of escape beckoned. Lies, but I needed the lies more than I needed to know my precarity.

The clerk knows where the emergency is, where the anger is, where the salt, where the sugar, where the flowers.

And there was dancing. It is getting too close to the bone. You turn away. But it is still getting there. Flesh of my flesh. Bone of my bone. The fracture resonated. Moved across dreamscapes. I have been dreaming, I tell a friend.

A word is not an easy thing, it is not a light thing.

Give me a word, they say. A sign. I no longer ask the ancestors for their attention. They are indifferent to my needs, aware of their own desires, vague in their temporalities, busy with their own pleasures. And they have their own afters. I need not concern them with mine.

If I were to take this body outside this minute, outside of where you and I live you would see the alarms it sets off.

They say you are not social, refusing to acknowledge that the social is not the same thing for you, and risks are navigated differently. Yes, even now. And what worlds you make, no matter how small, are worlds you can inhabit. While it is still possible. And bearable. You always want to know the nearest escape route.

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