The Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue (Excerpt)
If I sat next to you, spoke only to you, you would feel the warmth of
my breath. As our shoulders touched you would shift, and I would
know your movement as response. This is a world and we are in it.
And still, as if this matters, I worry that you can't see me; I worry
that you will go on without me in mind--even as our shoulders
continue to touch, even as you carry my voice in your ear. At times
I've wished for a structure to lean on, a landmark that's larger than
the life around us, something that would govern us all. Maybe I want
this because we almost had it. In truth, I was almost our Capital City.
Did you know the longest total solar eclipse that will occur in the
21st century was experienced most fully this summer in Shanghai, in
a city. China's most populated city. For six minutes and thirty-nine
seconds, as the moon passed directly between the earth and the sun,
for all those bodies all was darkness. I know how that feels.
But daylight is the great extravagance. In the end I know this is
true--even if I fall again and again into my private realities--because
despite everything I am built out of lives.