restricted access Half a Rondo
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26 Half a Rondo Morning boy calls to the evening, across the great distance, bring me a cake, and he’s sitting on top of himself in a chair on the terrace wondering why the big city is shrinking as he walks away, or why the lights describe themselves in fainter color, and it’s not clear where they give up and let in the night but without them he can’t see at all. The squall says no, but you go out anyway with no umbrella, the city says something in milspeak and puts the long white cigarettes against the sky, the long black cloves and brown cigarillos you loved as a child, smoking in Paul’s shed and taking a sip of the wine from his father’s high cupboard (later he moved out alone) but right now the sky is a quiet old star-fill that you cannot see, the gramophone iris is silent and gold where it wilts in a vision beside you lining as it were your forward progress into something you’ve achieved, already finally putting your feet in, the kiddie pool reflected in the big one. These days the terrace is really a barricade, keeping out the big green hedges hedged against losing his head, pulling out a note, and clove after clove, a joint or a spliff, twisting the back of the mind as one twists a balloon, and letting it fly, putting his habit or stole on, over the dove-tailed vestment, for no one but himself. So she brings him lemonade and crackers, and several parts of cow he never knew. She brings him little spices from the market down the road. ...

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