“Holy Mother, it’s still raining – bloody, Holy Mary. Why does it rain so much?” Words too harsh for the soft voice, for the sweet saliva, that taste of humble black sounds. That’s why he’s only thinking them: he could never say them aloud. Though just the thought is bad enough, too ugly for the white conscience of a black man. He has always thought and spoken differently, more like a lover.
“Help me, Holy Virgin, White Rose on the bush. Help a poor nigger who has killed that brute of a white man, who has just done this bad thing. My Only Rose, Heart of Sweet Almonds, help this negro, give him a chance, Limpid Rose in the Garden.”
But he has no luck tonight. The icy rain continues and he is soaked to the bones, deep down where the cold hurts. He lost one of his shoes in the mud, and his toes poke out from the other one. Wherever there is a sharp stone, his toes hit against it, never against a rounded one. But hitting the stone is nothing, what really hurts is the whipping pain that shoots up the limbs of his body and returns once again to the toes and goes on hurting, without pause. It’s then that the black man cannot understand how his white rose can do this to him. His sweetheart should have warned him about the sharp stone. And should not have allowed so much rain and cold tonight.
The black man’s hands are deep in his pockets, his hat down over his ears, the old suit held together as far as the few remaining buttons permit. Not a suit, really, a wet rag slippery and shining like spittle, the weave modeling and revealing the harmonious curves of his black body. As he bends under the weight of the rain,