ROOTS

They cut a hole inside the concrete floor in front of the tallest building, the one that casts its shadow over the belfry of the cathedral, dampening the ring of its bells.

Inside the hole, a tangle of roots, wet and hard, heaved, breathless from the burrowing, like sweating tissue inside an open wound.

A musty odour rolled out and over the pavement of the city towards the dark river, summoned by its changing tides, leaving a dark imprint on the white concrete as it flowed.

I stared into the hole at the roots.

Enveloped in darkness, clusters of light emerged like boats out at sea- fishing boats blinking their lights over a vast and immense expanse of space.

A city seen from above, in its complexity and multiplicity, flattened, unraveled, cast out as a net in which constellations are caught.

Like when observing a galaxy, more becomes visible the further away we get.

Moving vehicles are light signals, pulsating through the night, roads the lit-up arteries that connect urban organs together and keep them irrigated and alive.

When seen from above these electric networks appear as mystical and poetic systems, devoid of their mechanics.

Night reveals the delicate essence, the tenuous connections, but it also erases nuances: the small details need to be stumbled upon in order to become visible again.

Come back to the ground, and look up: the sky is never black, but a milky hue that absorbs all the light spilling out from streetlamps and windows, suffocating the stars, lost in that bright labyrinth.

And the roots that heave below the pavement, waiting for a crack to return and reclaim the surface with their throbbing, uncontainable grace.

Every little twig will burn.

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