• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 07

A peek

Furtive peeks are never quite as furtive as we’d like them to be: you always get caught, swallowed in a pillar of salt, and your lovers, ashen with sorrow, return again and again into the waiting dark. Still you can’t help but take a glance. Go on, don’t worry: peek out of the veil, peek while your keeper, obeying her mandates, shuts her all-seeing eyes. Momentarily you are triumphant: you spy, near enough to touch and tame, a clan of glossy, keen-eyed birds, pacing the earth languorously as though they have long wearied of the sky. In the distance you spot a row of handsome auburn roofs, ornaments for the horizon – yes, you brighten, better roofs will someday be yours for the taking. And just above – if only you could lift the veil further, there – you see the twin diadems of colour, so bright that you avert your gaze, so bright that you must peek, breathless, through the slim spaces of your fingers. Giddily, jealously, you stare and stare. Soon this vision will fade away. But until then (before you are entombed in salt and a thousand lovers decay into a thousand shadows) you bask in its light, all its merciful colours.