Somewhere in Forster—was it Aspects of the Novel?— there's something to the effect of, How can I tell what I think till I see what I say? I've always meant to check the quote, but I'm half afraid it won't be there, or if it is, that I got it all wrong, and I pretty much like it the way it is— I pull it out and toss it onto the table like one of those really brightly colored chips that only get thrown into the pot after the hand has gotten out of control and someone wants to say something a bit more heady than, I'll see you, and raise you, but that's what he always says, it's inevitable. In fact, it is inevitable, the word, inevitable, that has bought me down this road in the first place, that made me remember Forster, and whether or not something is inevitable—now, this is the leap—like, say, the week I just spent in Illinois with a married woman, who for a long time has been burning like one of those sad wildfires they have had all summer long out West, that gets bigger and hotter, and spreads, it seems, forever, and while this one burned, I kept telling myself that it was inevitable that we would end up in the same town somewhere at the same time, and inevitable, too, that after a few days one or both of us would allow our ambiguity about what was going on to get the best of us, and we both would walk off sad and hurt, when really it was not us who had a right to sad and hurt, her husband and children having a much better claim, and in the interest of terribly clarity, of unrelenting truth, it is necessary here to interject the word guilt, and while some people, those who buy into religion, for example, who touch finger to finger with the Hand of Heaven, all herb and clay-tinted oil, on a stone ceiling, will use Eve's apple to explain how all this is inevitable, part of some great master plan. I wonder; or was it simply another test, an opportunity to do the right thing, and perhaps we failed, and I am not even sure about that, but I know that she and I feel guilty, and while I thought it was inevitability I was talking about here, it was something else entirely, and I guess old Forster was right, even if he didn't say it.
The New Theory
- by Louis McKee21
A butterfly's wing moving gracefully in a still Asian dawn works up a storm that beats the hell out of us in Pennsylvania. I used to think it was a woman somewhere on he other side of the world, turning, maybe, in her sleep, or tossing the hair from her face with a soft flip, that has wakened me on this lonely dark night, not a sound, not a glint of light out the window, and no air at all on this night when I need air, even if only what comes of a butterfly passing, or a woman turning, or tossing her hair.
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