Saturday, May 23, 2009

the vocabulary for such

What are you reading, I said, looking into her eyes. She dropped the bookmark between pages 146 and 147 and pulled the cover to the author's opener, to page 11 where her eyes had really started the novel, a going back while moving forward terminally:
I was born in rain and I will die in rain. Know me as river, as harbor. They will say I was a slut with a brazen sailor's mouth. They will not remember my elegance and restraint. They will say they looked in my eyes and and counted one hundred and forty-six pelicans flying in a wavering line into a marina at sunset.

Men don't have the vocabulary for such eyes. A brown, calculating and predatory. Men lack the spectrum, the palette. It is not the eyes themselves, but rather what they contain, the vision. Diego is like that, with his compulsion to categorize. Men prefer primitive bodies outlined with hard black edges like the Maya painted.

I resist obvious borders. For this heresy I have been categorically penalized. Did you know they sealed me into a cast for one entire year? It was a premature burial where I kept breathing under dirt. They did this repeatedly, gathered my crushed bones like wildflowers and used plaster as a vase. They sought to make an object of me. There was no composition. It was vandalism.


Will Fitzgerald said...

What book is this?

J. K. Gayle said...

It's The Incantation of Frida K. written by Kate Braverman.