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 first 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 arms, for the metal claws that hold bandages together, 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, their masts waving like so many 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 its parts, which, in their particularity, are somehow beyond reproach, having been accounted for so precisely. Thomas cannot keep the list in his head.
2021-02-24 coup d'œil