December 12, 2010

In The Hand of Dante

“Love at first sight. Life after death. We may eventually know if we experience the latter. But how are we ever truly to know if we experience the former? Can the depths of the sea be reached in a breath, without movement? Can the stars wed two souls that have never looked upon them together?

* * * *

Her pantyhose lay on the floor beside the bed. I took them and tossed them on my cheap green vinyl traveling-bag. She knew that I thus had claimed them as mine.

They are in the drawer to my right as I set down these words, sitting here, prepared to do, or to be undone, within whatever remains of this dream that we call time.

All there, in the drawer to my right.

A vial of morphine, a pistol, the false passports that I did not use when I went to Italy to boost the documents from the archives, a lot of money, and the beige carnation of her pantyhose.

I hold this carnation now to my face and inhale the scent of her and the scent of a garden of all that is untold and untellable.

I envision myself dying like this; alone, holding my face like an oxygen mask the bunched, perfumed flower of her pantyhose.”
-Nick Tosches, “In The Hand of Dante”

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