Wednesday, April 21, 2010

One side of the hill browned and blackened, charred locusts at the edge of the burn, a high patch of cacti and tamarind still green, the road red dirt. A flock of young peacocks pecking in the dry, rocky ground rush across the charred landscape in their way, heads jerking. The road curves again, toward a house built in the West Indian style, like the houses planters built with European minds, their bodies moored in the New World–long, wide galleries and the lower floor set nearly into the dirt. In the distance the house looks empty, shuttered, the only movement a windvane turning in the lazy breeze. Everything brown and pale yellow, a sepia photograph, the gray pile of gravel meant for the new road standing out brightly against the stretch of burn and the shadowed house that seems to murmur to itself, saying things the earth tells it.

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