DUST woke bleary-eyed and groggy, as if from undigested sleep, and wondering why it was that these things, these others, which had not heretofore obtruded, clamoured for attention, for names. He capitulated to their persistence, as one would to a headache, not noticing the pronoun which had so subtly, so lightly, dropped from the sky like a cloak onto his shoulders. Shrugged. Hummed. And then flatly intoned the first litany: ‘tree’, ‘grass’, ‘sky’, ‘fruit’, ‘field’, ‘sun’, ‘cloud’ and so – etcetera and then again – on pronounced and after a few thousand years, or five minutes of that morning, paused, listening for what came at the end of his voice.
And from the silence that was not there a shape emerged, slowly as the movement of mist, and ‘who are you?’ he cried out, ejaculating like spit his interrogative.
‘I am Breath’, she said. ‘I am Other’.
And the trees detonated with green, the grass fled to the horizon, the sky flung wide its arms, the fruit ducked into curves, the fields closed in, the sun stared hard and the clouds gathered together like the beginnings of a thought.
And so it was, the bird-on-the-table-in-my-head said, that you all began, and I dropped out of its recital, like a twig from a beak, and I all began, looking rather puzzled at my hands that didn’t fit, my legs that fell, and at the years that learnt to count: one, two and whee with a three softlanded on my mother’s lap being taught how to read; then four and five into the school-play-yard as, as if to cue, written blackboard high in scraping chalk , the bullies approached, like straggling marauding men-at-arms.