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The Sound of the Circle

Linda Rogers
From:   Heaven Cake. Sono Nis, 1997


Picture the photographer
climbing an Asian mountain
finding the child in a meadow.
She is already blind, wearing a dress
bright enough he believes it is holy,
each silk embroidered stitch so tiny it might have been sewn
by angels with compound eyes,
or other children like her with hands
small enough to fit
through the eye of a needle.

Not even the stream
that feeds this alpine garden
has so much grace.

The dress is alive.
It flutters and feeds,
but the child doesn't move or speak.
This is the top of the world,
way beyond words.

What the photographer hears
is his eyes using oxygen,
pandas eating bamboo in the moonlight,
rats making love in underground tunnels,
snow melting, a Himalayan river
notating the song of water on rocks
until one of them moves and becomes a lizard eating his tail.

What the child hears
is the story of herself,
the sound of film being exposed to light,
bees living in the walls of her golden room,
insects eating their way to Paradise.

This is her Jerusalem.
She has been left on the mountain to die,
her eyes exhausted in the dark
factories of Bangladesh.

When the photographer
comes down from the mountain
and develops his film,
there is no dress, no girl.
He has been fooled by fairytales again.
In the last frame, the butterflies leave.



Linda Rogers's works copyright © to the author.


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