“ – the dangerous words, the padlocked words, the words that do not belong to the dictionary,
for if they were written there, written out and not maintained by ellipses,
they would utter too fast the suffocating misery of a solitude …”
Introduction to “Soledad Brother – The Prison Letters of George Jackson”
The wind was blowing the sheet rain away from the vertical.
Where the trajectory propelled through the wash of the streetlamp, it was
briefly illuminated like tracer fire. Then it dived back out of the spill into
the blackout just above the ground. Only the bombination of their report
against the concrete, evinced their persistence.
The occasional dipped car headlamps bounced their skittering
rays along the slicked road. Cast an illusion of the rain recoiling upwards off
the tarmac, spiting gravity. Even from those headlamps with their own runty wipers
to keep their lenses clear of waterborne refractions.
The cars precipitated a further, less transient coalescence
in their wake. Those miniature rainbows formed in oil stained puddles by the
kerbside. Molecule to molecule interdiction with the forsaken slick perdus,
while the rest of rainwater sped by through the gutters plunging towards the storm
As with the car headlamps, the mound of matter on the
pavement was wreaking a distorting effect on the local meteorology. Its bulk
served as a levee, damming up the water coursing across the paving flags. Until
the flow reached critical volume and spouted like a cataract, inroading the
The blood running with the runnels of rainwater failed to break
up into any rainbow spectrum. Blood being thicker than water but not oil, it
just sat there in its own immiscible layer, gradually diffusing through the
sheer volume of the rain.
The blood was seeping from a body. Where the bullets of
rain hit that body, their soft-tipped heads penetrated the sodden clothing and
bit into the flesh. In the dark, it appeared that the lump of flesh was being riddled
As the body lay there with its mouth draggled open, the rain
zeroed in. Maybe the corpus would be extinguished by drowning rather than exsanguination
from the hole in its gut. But the water kept sluicing back out through the
downturned corners of its mouth. The body seemed like it was trying to speak,
but only liquid words poured out.
The wind was also whipping through the body. As if the skin
breach was a vacuum sucking in the air trying to staunch itself. The street
litter propelled along in the gusts brushed the body, but none would stop to
seal the hole. The magma eruption of blood that had attended the initial
piercing, had ebbed as the tectonic waves of pain subsided into equipoise. The
body's internal pressure now effaced by the sensation of the driving rain
against the numbed flesh. The body's temperature had dropped closer to that of
the surrounding atmospehere, so that the weak puffs of expiration emerging from
the mouth no longer condensed against colder air.
Inside a building, another body was drumming its fingers
against the window sill in syncopation with the rain striking the pane. A cloud
had descended upon that body and occluded the previously warm front. A storm
was surely building.