in Sanskrit:




Jimmy finishes his beer and sets his face to the lowering afternoon. Michelle will soon arrive. She will tell him she does not love him, has never loved him, but respects him and is glad he inhabits the world. He will feel absurdly sorry for himself and almost cry, which she finds ridiculous. She will say goodbye and promise never to write, lest she betray Cathy, her sister in struggle. He will watch her walk away over cobblestones which are not bearers of fossil strata from ancient seas, weapons of the poor against the rich, symbols of revolutionary Paris, home for bacteria, or the historical solution to the problem of carriages stuck in the mud. They are stage props for a lost romance. What a cliché.

But Michelle has not yet arrived. Jimmy is seized by an unknown sensation, as if a yet to be discovered drug kicked in. He touches his face, his chest, his legs. What is happening to him? The ambient stones, umbrella, lightslant, shadows, churchface, automobile cough, rill of la langue francaise, buttersweet smell of bread, shoeclack, the nun descending the stairs, are at peace with him. He is calm, and now that he knows it, knows he has not been calm in years. He is in contradiction to nothing. Everything that flows through him is his. He does not contend, nor does the world contend.

He thinks: I felt like this once, walking home from school and I stopped at Frier’s for a popsicle, I felt the sun like this, the almost-Summer sun, the popsicle was orange and my body was perfect and the world was perfect and my relation to the world was exactly what it meant to be. All that was good was right and all that was bad was right and I was a part of all. I was twelve years old and honored to be here.

He reclines against the sun.

He thinks:    śāntiḥ           śāntiḥ           śāntiḥ

If not God or History maybe we have the stones on our side.

All maketh all things possible.

We are winning.