When I looked out of the window there was a great wind blowing, pushing the trees’ crowns to the ground as though in prayer.

The buildings rattled, their skeletons and cladding creaking ominously like vessels at sea weathering a mighty storm, unsure of their hold on the surface of the city.


We took refuge inside a song, gently hummed on our breaths in a quiet corner of the street, while all around people bought and sold, and leaned on each other for shelter, all of them displaced by the storm- and far away from home. 

The wind shook their worn tarpaulins that flapped like the gigantic wings of a beached albatross, unable to take flight. 

Their red shoes, now misshapen and full of holes, have no leverage when trying to cross back through the border.


We weaved our way through the white lace and the beads and the gold plated chains, past the eggs and the fruit all neatly piled up despite the blowing of the wind.

We bought lemons at the end of the road, by the line in the ground that marked the threshold, and then we entered the library at the junction by the train station, where we looked for a quiet corner to sing, while the city took flight and unraveled all around us. 


We saw it all happen from the glass window on the first floor: at first the trees, then the cars and the traffic lights, then the concrete, lifting like ribbons from the street. 

The eggs and the lemons, the tarpaulins and the beads and the gold, the cinema seats and the projector, the bones and the knives and the money- all dragged up by the wind, spiraling away into the sky.


At last the people, first one by one and then in flocks, quietly, maybe just a little startled.


Alone with the books, we sang, until there was nothing left outside, not even the wind.

And then we stepped out to teach our song to the quiet city.

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