He speaks in a strange voice today, as though the winds whipped small leafy dervishes across the sleety mulch, and all the dust of the Great Hungarian Plains had lodged themselves across his vocal chords. “Keep it safe, for winter”, they seem to say. “Store them in the hollow of the Soviet brutal trees, and wait until the new wall falls”.

He speaks in a strange voice today. The events of last night still ring painfully in his ears, and send little shocks of something like ecstasy into the hollow of his stomach, already stretched again from abstinance. There is something that looks like sadness, peering it’s head around the entrance to the kitchen. A single sheet of paper is pushed under the door.

He reads it aloud. He speaks in a strange voice, today.

“Under cherry trees, pushed in earth

My lips are black with peat, eyes

Flicker-crack as soil folds

Its way beneath my nails.

You stand above, spading,

Shovel hiked over your ankles

Patting down the quagmire

A mile above my head.

The twisting of the strata

Pushes bone through rock

And lets out little strips of self

Far beyond the other side

You swing your tools behind your ears

And march off, gladly, home. Your

Legs freshly shaven

And smeared with metal ores, forgot.”

About Benjamin Norris

Published writer of short stories, long stories, poems. Well received art critic and cultural commentator for Berlin magazines. Collaborator with operatic societies. Co-writer of fictional historic psycholinguistic journals. Lecturer of architecture and art history at a Budapest University. View all posts by Benjamin Norris

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