I don’t know, I say.
We waited so long in the café. The waitress had her apron on inside-out. You took pristine paper napkins and folded them into your pocket. The croissant wasn’t warm, your toast came without jam. We had the conversation with our eyes and fell a little in love with her, our inside-out waitress. A tip for all the tenderness she aroused and the white napkins fluttering to the floor as you stand to dig out your change.
I smooth and fold them like pages, like sheets, like all the days and tuck them back into your pocket.
I don’t know how not to do this, I say.
Do you see me? I don’t say.
‘Accretion’ has a number of meanings. In biology it refers to a growing together of parts that are usually separate. It is used differently and more poetically in this article by Christopher Andreae: ‘ … the accretions of paint that had buried the door’s details like snow over a garden.’
I take off my rings, my bracelets, my watch. The clock does not strike the hour.
If this garden were mine, it would have this single dragline thread of spider silk rising free from the earth. Finer than human hair and more visible that this dial, this tree with its lime-coloured leaves. It draws my eye upwards along its unstill length. It sways, I sway. It splits the air, I step through.
The shadow on the dial moves back. What is this soft-remembered thing that creeps like ivy and pours like wine, that clings like sweetened glaze?
I could turn to see you waiting there. But I don’t know how long I will be.
The Old Testament story about the dial of Ahaz (Isa. 38.8) recounts how the shadow on the dial is turned back by ten degrees. This can be interpreted as a miracle or as the effect of parhelion or ‘mock sun’.