Academic journal article Hecate

Tonight

Academic journal article Hecate

Tonight

Article excerpt

Even though it is dark now, the air in here remains warm. The air is warm and it is also very still, layered, waiting and heavy with its might-be probably-won't-be rain. The cicadas are rolling their hard syllables outside, throbbing up a storm of noise and I know that if the dry, dry soil could be rolled back, like a carpet, we would not find a second layer of dirt or rock. Instead, we would see millions of black bodies, spilling over each other, competing to drum the night away. They are so loud. They are unbelievably loud but theirs is an outside sound and so they help make up the stillness and quietness in here. It is very warm and still in here. Somehow, despite your presence, it has stayed very warm and still.

Under the bridge they are building a new pier. Though it is late they are still out there working on it. Through the cicadas' song I can hear the metallic pummel of the pile-driver: up and thumping down; up and crashing down through the water and into the river-bed. I can hear steel rushing against steel, the power of a dead weight falling. It is a nightmare sound. It is the kind of sound that enters sleep and turns dreams into nightmares.

You might be dead. I think you might be dead. You came home and said some mundane thing. Your words were ugly and loud in the silence, crashing through the space I'd made in your absence. You looked at me. I knew you could see it, your presence inscribing itself in a shock of anger and unhappiness across my face. You left me. I thought you'd gone for a shower, gone to wash away this hot and sticky day and my ugly unwelcome. …

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