If a country is so private, quiet, repressed, it is like a dark, soft
lump of coal left in the street. It ceases to exist except as a round, geographic
smudge, a streak. All about it, however, the hush increases into a whine,
the whine, into a roar. So there is a dark, sooty hole and a great wind
roaring about it. And within this hole, gleaming in the dark, are thousands
of white, hairless mice, incongruous, whipping their wormlike tails in the
They have sprung out of a place that has ceased to exist. Even the outline of the mountains have begun to shimmer, rubbed out by some great pressure. Children wake in the morning faced with their own ceaseless cry, unbroken from yesterday. The wind has brought it back. A colored piece of thread winds its way throughout the city, tightening it. The houses are folded together to prevent moisture from seeping in. The window panes are buried in the earth in case of a random fighterplane wandering in, bombing cathedrals. They are hoping for a bomber plane---anything that will sight them, acknowledge them.
But there are no cathedrals, no wars. Two apricot trees stand in the middle of this city and the apricots, unbitten, which lie in the dust, are also collapsed.
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