yesterday a seagull tottered to a standstill, eyed food, decided not to drive on, interrogated old vomit.
There were two professors, or conversationalists, in the first chapter of the novel I am in. I always double check blurbs when I queue at Smiths; the publisher promised three professors. This story is about three people. Okay.
And yet the first block of writing, put above the debutant asterisk, is not so. The first words are an aloof conversation between two people only. Two professors.
I thought: One person must be late, or dead. Apparently it is a woman, and her absence is worth an excavation. I am reading the end of the novel on its first page. I am certain I am reading the book as though it were a manga, or a tempting fortune tale, counting down pages, sirening green bottles into accidental free fall. But all the pages are numbered, in tact, white, ready for a quick turn. Was this a father or brother's holiday-read from years ago? I start to speak at myself, speaking words out of the windowsill. Stop thinking about loose ends.
The Three Professors
'No, you read too far into what happens later.'
'Later? So are you saying it is her childhood? That something happened early on and might have been brushed under the carpet?'
'I am. She did not like the idea of a mother or a father. She essayed at length on supervision and sex. And in her eight hundred poems, mothers and fathers are never mentioned. The closest she comes is: I lived under an extraordinary roof.'
I forgot to say earlier, that there are other blocks of writing in the pages before; before the story begins moving forwards, and after the end has trespassed there.
These other blocks of writing were for
Praise, Publishing Houses and For.
My For dedication is to Those Women Who Said: No: Condescending To My Mouth: Terrified Of My Ears.
I will leave the window dehiscent, bent out, to freshen my bedroom, and I have to go and soap my fingers, cut their nails, turn more pages.
Don't steal anything, please. I will be in the bathroom.