To travel far as a child is fraught. Boats capsize. Airplanes crash. Bicycles fragment into unusable pieces of metal onto the ground.
The ocean is not an ocean. It is a body of water that meets the land. But it is an ocean. The horses and dogs that run wild on the thin strip of sand before the rocks have permission from the earth. But we too have permission. We too have muscle. Not as strong or as sinewy as the nobler animals but with the same kinetic desires.
And so we run, my sister and I, from the gate of our house to the beach while the youngest in our family sleeps within the mosquito net, beneath the fan, the hum of which synthesizes the sounds of chickens and goats coming from the yard outside our house so that this family’s youngest, this young boy we call brother, may sleep in good time.
My sister and I run with new muscle that expand and stretch and push our bodies forward. We run in the air that comes from the ocean—that flows over the animals and bids us to carry on. We are as fast as they and soon move among them until I fall and hear the wind and the hammering of hooves against the earth. My uncle runs out and pulls my sister away as the horses run by. He covers her face and looks down the thin strip of sand to see a small explosion of dust where I have fallen. Inside this nebula I am mutilated and bleeding. This was my first death.*
© Sean Brijbasi, excerpt from his latest book “the Dictionary of coincidences, Volume I (Hi)“
photo© Stratos Fountoulis, “Olive oil variety” Brussels, 2012 -p/o the original photo used for the cover
the dictionary of coincidences, Volume I (Hi)
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