Sun in Ope

None of the seasalt reaches the house.

Cracking his neck for the second time, Mardo talks to the brightness in his window. A listener would hear dull fables spoken through monotone; no one listens, though, in the room crowded only by rods and cones, by chipped paint, and one nodding head. Mardo winks his eye as the sun flares and directs a flat ray of its light onto Mardo’s face.

“Thank you, sun, you do too much.”

The sun moves on its way. Five hours hence will arrive a storm that will turn air to water and breathe into Mardo his depth’s limit, pop his vessels into lunch, encyst him in an infant’s caul made of his own lathers. The sun betrays little of his brothers’ and cousins’ intentions. Another ray through the blinds. Mardo thanks the sun, which responds only to him in the manner of an underpaid, undeserving librarian, as only a government employee can: “You, pomplardo, need a doctor. A doctor you can carry on your tonsils that will slip further down, where the crops grow, whenever you down that whiskey.”

“My folk in a bottle, half mulatto and quarter proof?”

“The bartender with ox strength in a jug, plastic and heated by the mountain people. If not glass, at the least. A doctor too dead to pay for. Let your mortgage here where the HUD babies you curdle to a taxless freedom. You need a doctor; a doctor needs a prescription pad.”

“I’m not sick. I used to go with my folks to the doctor and wait in the room for hours while they were examined. Nothing was ever wrong with them.” Mardo feels with his palm the coolness of the sun’s clench, barricaded by glass and the flesh around Mardo’s eyes. “I just waited and they paid so much for nothing.”

“You never saw your father throw up that birthday meal, did you? That was morphine sickness. All that meat you and your whore made for him saw its last days encased in porcelain.”

“He never took morphine.”

“Call it what you will. They don’t get morphine from the bodies of bacteria, or from livestocks’ organs. The war did a number, pomplardo, and you were its square root.”

The sun’s face isn’t so pleasant to regard, with a paleness achieved by an active recluse, and a withdrawn misery that speaks of custom, habit. The eyebrows are bald, the chin retarded into the neckstem. Mardo isn’t so pleasant to regard; paleness and a lack of infant’s nurture speak in moments to the crowd of rods and cones.

“Your doctor, pomplardo, must be dead and broke, like his patients. A hack, cyanide would dress him up, not kill him, someone to share with the wall and the nails in the savior. Find a graveyard. Go during the day, so the doctor doesn’t dose you with the moon. I’ll watch over you.”

The sun looks around in no fashion.

“I don’t need a doctor. Not a dead one.”

The sun looks at Mardo in no fashion.

“It talks, and it dresses in rags, and it puts an economy of sandalwood on both feet, but it does not listen, and it does not drink the doctor and the doctor’s fine powdered things when they break from the womb. You can try the medicine, and the plasty, and the therapy, pomplardo, and because you can, you will, or I will make you smother me and the world can blame you for its death.”

Mardo, perhaps, realises his predicament, and closes the blinds. He hears nothing but the noise of human ambience. Behind him the old paint flecks off, and Mardo sits unknowing before a wall-size tome of “Everyone but you lives free of me…” in endless succession, including the imagined trail-off the sun spoke with ellipses.

Mardo falls asleep in the chair, his bones and fragments of bones long curved to accomodate such a difficult posture. The sun retires, departing its body, light, and dialect from the half-way house’s wall. Mardo’s legs try to rock when he hears the rude storm being born outside, but the chair is too solid for its purpose and location–the comfort of convicts–and his leg never makes it rock, and five hours pass, and the sun never pulled the seas quite as well as his cousin.


~ by Jeremy on March 11, 2009.

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