Let us kiss fire with this stakes too, as we bite from these,
Colossal apples of self-sacrifice.
Cold and certain.
You are beginning to lose words, just as you have been told. You are forgetting how to mentally arrange things, to carve the least mundane routes through this maze.
You have turned lumpy, like three days Eba, arctic and stodgy.
On your way to the bakery, if you spare yourself a look in the front glass of one of the many lofty stores knitted into Rue Sainte Catherine, you will see that your eyes are moribund.
You will see, what they told you, about not giving them rein, to shine, sparkle, and immerse in unrealities. You will see like their symbolism: charcoal. That they have burnt for use, into transitions of fiery gold, red, tinges of green, orange, and now ash.
Fluffy, immaculate, and breakable into lighter powder, by a touch from this town’s scourging fingers of strain.
You forgot or chose to forget, letting the three hands you render all day, all week – at the bakery, the drug store, and the library – to be your mind’s perpetual memory duster, swiping constantly at the dust of things now forgotten.
Except Sundays. These are spent at Saint-Andre Cathedral, where you eat of your own sacrifice.
You understand that you wear the skin of the women before you.
You understand you must care for Nasir by yourself, nor expect any affectionate neighbour to help you lessen the burden of care for your child.
You have to fatten Nasir up, and suck joy from his being as healthy as possible. You know that you’ll grow thinner than a strand of igbale if you allow him to become sick. Not that there is a You. That You faded away, as you slug to, fro, and into jobs. You make sure to stampede any emere of vanity, no longer to find anything fancy, no longer wanting for yourself.
You understand to get by, to fend for your son, that you must pretend you comprehend the instrumental flow of French here in Bordeaux. You look away from willing men, beaming as you shake your behind about the drug store, leaning on the counter, and stringing niceties in broken English. You can chance the light-skinned ones for a while, but you have to know that they might think Nasir a burden. However you refused to give those black-as-night ones any chance, believing they don’t have ample financial security, and that their affections are inexorably prone to quick death.
So crush yourself, your needs, your wants, and think always, only about Nasir, because as it is now, this isn’t about you.