Men in the Sun 1

February 21, 2008

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Abu Qays rested his chest on the damp ground, and the earth started to beat underneath him: the beats of a tired heart moving through the grains of shaking sand, then crossing into his cells. Every time he layed his body on the dirt, he felt that heartbeat, as though the heart of the Earth was still, since he layed there the first time, blazing a difficult path to light, from the deepest depths of hell. When he said that, once, to his neighbor with whom he shared a field, there in the land he left ten years ago, he answered him sarcastically:
“That’s the sound of your heart you hear when you stick your body to the ground.” What nonsense. And the smell, then? The smell that, if he inhaled, would swell in his brow and then disappate into his veins? Anyone who smelled the smell of the earth as he layed upon it would imagine he was smelling the hair of his wife, after she had come out of the shower, and washed her hair with cold water. That smell, the smell of a woman washed with cold water who has then spread her hair out over his face, no longer wet.
The heartbeat itself, it’s as though you’re holding a small bird between your two curving hands.
The damp earth, he thought, is no doubt whats left of yesterday’s rains. No, it didn’t rain yesterday. These days, the sky can’t rain anything but heat and dust. Have you forgotten where you are? Have you forgotten?

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