A Moth with a Keyboard, a Moth with a Keyboard Instead of a Flame

for Julio Cortázar & also the internet

I don’t have to tell you that when the girl is gone a man begins to questions himself.

A man might feel the heat floating out from the radiator for the first time considers the heat as a measure of sound the way its fluttering particles dissolve on the rim of a tea cup how a cup of tea is altered by the alignment of the stars

A man might marvel at the precise way the moon is secured in its cycle, the sun suspended in air by its own centrifugal force.

A man may decide to turn the internet off a while, turn off the phones and the internet at home so that the neighbors gradually become the only activity of life in his world and eventually not even this.

A man may begin to question whether or not other people are in fact alive, for instance.

A man from that point on might have occasion to observe a dance of light and shadow on the edge of the saucer, how the flinch of a shoulder can become a wrinkle of time.

A man might begin to suspect that maybe the moth across the room that lands on his keyboard has lived with him in fact for years, devising ways to be noticed.

Try to understand that when a man is no longer there he might lust after something small enough for an insect to swallow, that a man will begin to believe he can feel the heart of a moth that reverberates across the room, or that alights on a pencil or a keyboard, for instance.

Try to remember that there are thousands of ways of turning a door knob, that when a man walks from the seat of his chair to the desk at his window he is very likely staking his life. Understand that if a man hears the neighbor’s family come home in the distance, that he knows very well that the sound of a young girl singing down the other end of the street is enough to shatter all the mirrors inside of him, that mirrors have always been portals to hell; recall how Orpheus slipped through mirrors to get to the underworld and it’s no wonder he didn’t come back with anything except for a lousy lute or a lyre, it’s no wonder in any case he didn’t come back with the girl.

Go ahead, deny up and down that the unobserved life is not worth living.

But try, just try if you can to consider a duck someplace covered with ants, the gulfs in the Straits of Magellan that no one will ever sail over, the fact that there are so many ways to learn how to cry without the slightest noise. Try to remember that the sound of a girl singing, the sight of a boy running out of his car away from his family could change everything, that the sight of a boy’s parent’s is enough to break a grown man’s heart. Just so. The sight of a boy’s parents’ waiting for him at the door, waiting for a young boy with his head hanging down, a young boy who has nothing in this world, nothing at all in this world to say.

*published in the forthcoming volume of FrankMatter, September 2013

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s