Thursday, April 15, 2010

Turn Right at the Lamb of God

You think you could move south, where it is all stories, all the time. At dinner there are Gothic tales of mistresses in the low country, violent death, and graveside hysterics clutching James Joyce. You imagine the fruits with Gullah names could bleed under your skin, and then you too would be related to both sides of the eternal conflict. The hellebores and their generations inhabit the woodlands and daily engage in mortal battle with the voles. Kudzu goes unmentioned. Broken crockery cannot stop the drama of lovers escaped to an endangered swamp where a Choctaw grandmother was last seen. Minutes before the wrecking ball shatters the bullet glass and splinters the wooden beams, a trunk full of a century’s journals is rescued. And inside you find: a braided hank of hair that reached her knees, and this notation for April 15, 1911: “The engineer tossed oranges to me from the train again. He wants to court me, and maybe he will.” There is a discussion of the perils and merits of hunting coyotes. Never at night.
You get lost on your way, and then you get the directions that will get you there: Turn right at the Lamb of God.

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