In Iraq I said that word so much, heard it so often. I came home and found myself still saying it. Shrapnel's shell was first used against the Dutch at Surinam (now Guyana). The Dutch were so taken aback by the weapon that they surrendered after only the second time it was fired.
She says, Maybe I am not, in fact, ill. The ends of all her sentences curve upward into questions. We reduce her medication with a warning: Bipolar I is a lifetime diagnosis, though we concede that perhaps Patient could do with a smaller dosage.
Still, she liked what she had become. She slept in a den of sticks of her own making. Language and its judgment escaped her. Was being animal closer to God than innocence? Her voice was her breath. She was still alive.
But in another language, in my father’s mouth, there is a tenderness to the tone he takes, so that the word beat overlaps with other words, some of them meaning I miss you. He says beat as if the word shares a border with laughter. As if it is just a lost synonym for love.
How easy it was, once, to imagine our future children. The blueprints were right in front of us, waiting to be brought to life. We envisioned them, tiny replicas of ourselves, as all couples surely do when they are “trying.”
This review of zürich moves! 2019, an annual festival for contemporary arts practice in performing arts, was a runner-up in the 2019 Toni Beauchamp Prize for Critical Art Writing, judged by Jessica Lynne.
And the cloud that took over the family’s house that Tuesday wasn’t made of your run-of-the-mill water vapor. It was so humid and heavy you could reach out and shake hands with it, and it would grab your hand and shake back.
The retreating autumn deepens in the city. Water turns from silver to maroon. A fisherman smokes on the bank, looking at the rising tide. The dark tones in the landscape are often overlooked. The bank, grey in the fog.