Thomas awakes and the long muscles of his thin body tighten. It happens in that order.
‘Oh God!’ he says, pawing at his front, driving himself up the headboard.
‘Oh God!’ he says again, realising his error but in doing so only doubling his sin.
Later: a prayer for each thing. A prayer for a cream plastic bucket under an arm, one for the arm, one for all other arms, one for the metal claws that hold bandages together, one for the dull angles of drainage pipes. This is how Thomas walks the wharf: silently going in for or silently making as if to go in for specificity, in all its horror.
It is the mood and practice into which he is led by boats when he sees them, when they appear. Here there are many, a family, bobbing alongside, masts waving like top-heavy trees. It is an orchard in spoil and at every reach warm to the touch. Every dumb hulk is laden with the words gathered to it, all the terms marine and nautical, the names of parts, which, in their particularity, by the grace of having been accounted for so precisely, are somehow beyond reproach. Thomas cannot keep the list in his head.
2021-06-28 coup d'œil