Academic journal article Field

The Ancient Roman Walls

Academic journal article Field

The Ancient Roman Walls

Article excerpt

The ancient Roman walls. Opus mixtum. Still some still. It still stands, like some dental prosthesis displaying an impression that has just been consumed by time. A washed off stone, a porous brick- here, no century has broken all its teeth, ground down its tongue. It is upright, grey on red, where hunger sticks in the throat and hours smell of migratory birds.

I still skip over names, as if the}? were stairs, clouds dripping through my hair, still still, tattooed beneath the liver, branded on the kidneys, stitched beneath the Adam's apple, which renounces Paradise and devours, ah, devours.

A silent witness of how everything diminishes in abundance, of how in my body nostrils leak air and shoulders sink, of how, more and more, the body has collapsed as if whipped onward, onward, through ever smaller doors, a calculating rebel, a mangy revolutionär}?, a subversive for three bugs, a charlatan of a narrow slice of the world.

It still surpasses a gnat, is still faster than the leaves that fall on an August morning. Still, I say, still, with bones between screws and a gnawed-on wallet, with glassware in the mouth and a bladder filled with jewels. Still, I say, for thirty-six years it has left through the pores in the skin. Not sweat, but the contraction that comes without shots and trumpets, without biopsies and solemn ceremonies, quietly like the faded stamp on still another misplaced document. …

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