On the day I was born, the air was a supple stew—heavy with overripe fruit and armpits, ocean salt, and slow-roasted goat meat. Of course, I don’t remember that day, but I was born in the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam—just ‘Dar’ to the locals—and the viscosity of the air is the first thing that visitors remark on. It is what they remember most.
Was that season artery or vein? when the days stretched like Broadway, & the nights undid our shirts – the temperature so slight you could raise your arms in flight & feel nothing, the body as air. But there was also the need for hurt. And dusk: a ghost of a boy tempted to feel his weight, to put his palm to the depth, touch the pupil, the dead turbine of god’s one good cataracted eye.
The morning of Claire's funeral, I lie naked on the table and wait for her mourners to arrive. Thomas scrapes a knife against whetstone in the kitchen. When he appears above me, the blade glints harsh in his hand. It's all I can see. To minimize the pain, he explains with a paternal smile. I smile too.