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When the sky clears enough for good visibility, the direction of all the roads is apparent, but which is to be taken is still in doubt, not because of any obscurity but solely because of ambiguity.

Augustine of Hippo, De dialectica 8.14

The snow that either obscures or defines the road goes
further than the notion of a destination – it doubles

the light in silence, the silence in light.
Wherever the earth ends there is this child crying ‘because’

he cannot swim in absence as if it was
the water that used to wash away

his sins if not his bruises. He wants to inhabit
the shadow on the lung of a stranger

who may be his father. His last step is the hearth
snow approaches with no intention other than to be

other. It is not enough, nothing is
enough. Come summer dragonflies will counterpoint

the light on the meniscus of the swimming hole
which is frozen over like the child’s left eye,

like his father’s right fist.

Mid 1996, Customs Street West, Auckland

 


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