Monday, February 12, 2007

#2 - a prose poem

Fire up that lamp, boy.

Good. Now look out the porthole, look through and tell me what you see.

See, sir? It’s night. I see nothin but water.

You see water. Yes. You see, boy. But tell me. How’s the water? How does she feel?

She . . . she feels calm, hypnotic.

She lulls us now, don’t she? But will she stay that way forever?

I dare think she won’t, sir.

What’ll happen then, pray tell?

Soon enough will come a storm.

And she’ll get angry?

Aye, I think so, sir.

You know, son. Why though? Why’ll she get angry?

Why, sir?

Don’t think! Answer.

She’ll get angry because she has to.

Good.

Why must she?

To sooth her soul.

Does the sea have a soul?

I think it does.

Then it does. But tell me, must all souls scream?

Aye, sir. I figure some nights they must.

Why must they?

I don’t know, sir.

Try.

. . . Fear, sir?

Fear of what?

Death.

You think the sea is afraid of dyin?

No sir.

Why then does the sea rage so?

I don’t know sir.

But you must.

Sir?

You must!

Why must I?

To settle my fear.

Are you afraid of the sea, sir?

Yes, boy. I fear it, I love it.

And it would help you to know why?

Just tonight. I just want an answer tonight.

Why tonight?

Just please, find me an answer.

And, sir, if I don’t have one? What then?

Fake one. Please.

You want a fable.

A story, yes. That’d be fine.

Shall I put out the lamp first?

Do.


-Jonathan Mendelsohn

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