In the Marvelous De-Centralized Way of Swans

There are people who’d like to take my place, to steal it as though it were a camera and I’d left it on a bench. I believe this even as evidence to the contrary keeps surfacing. The way the girl’s hair hangs more to one side than another. The way she relishes her own name, rolls it around on her tongue, like a piece of licorice. She breaks her fall with both hands, just as they tell you not to in gym class. And sure enough, the novels begin to pile up at her doorstep. Soon, she can’t find her way out again and must settle for Sunday afternoons sitting quietly, listening to the furnace. And the clocks chiming in the next house. The sound of them far away. And exciting, like jet planes. In fact, she can’t imagine why she hadn’t stumbled on them before. When she wandered the neighborhoods. Hoping someone would spot her unusual character. That thing that made her almost less than human. Though she wouldn’t have phrased it precisely this way. Instead, she might have dabbled in Portuguese. Or fashioned a club to punish any object that was not attached to her body.

Charles Freeland | Mudlark No. 35
Contents | The Case of the Danish King Halfdene