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  • Jessica Garratt

When a day is bright, when we can see everything nicely, because some energy moves behind and inside the air, wholly separate from it—an energy that travels quite quickly but appears still, and unscientific, as lives do, as does one moment inside a mind, full and muted as a lake—when this thing called light looses upon half the earth, it is for a reason: the earth is suspended in a great clearing, having rooted there, and grown over a very large number of moments —each one thick as the meaning that swims, more ancient than turtles, beneath the word now when this very earth turns a certain direction, and someone driving to work squints, curses the light, it is because, rising up from behind the highway, between the trees where birds come alive—singing, a bright pattern crossing the stark inner walls of their biology—is a star. The woman drives slowly into a star, half-swallowed by exhaustion, but relieved to at last be rescued by day—at last she is no longer crushed by the pressure to sleep (sleep!) through the unignorable stillness of the house, of everything but the trees and the clock, and herself, wandering through dark painted halls, down [End Page 86] creaking stairs, with fresh concerns for the sturdiness of her mind—for she wondered last night, stuck inside the confusion of a single moment, revolving and divided, somehow, from all other moments—she wondered about rooms, what a house is, what one is for. She thought (though by morning she would forget) that no matter which way the earth is turned, we are still stuck in moments like this one, full and muted as a room with someone inside it, as the meaning that sifts like dirt under floorboards, like one instant of pain, like her whole childhood, toted around inside, her entire life beneath the word now.



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pp. 86-87
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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