and in the time of the Preacher I witnessed a recurrence an old woman and an old man at two different restaurants ordering two different things one breakfast and the other supper I watched them being waited on the woman next to a wall with old advertisements the man by a window the old advertisements behind him she ordered eggs over-easy and bacon and toast he ate a hamburger I watched as he removed the pickles what is this recurrence this infinite regress a self-similar pattern the detail of the pattern in magnitude ever smaller nothing changing the same pattern repeating over and over did they once make love? and where are the children? this man and woman eating alone they make eye contact I see their eyes flash what the young may call a flirtation for I tell you this you are never alone even in a busy restaurant at a table by yourself the place you go home to alone the only noise your memories of what once was and deja vu I sense it in my pew the Preacher this time saying Where are you? how Jesus wept for you are not dead you are not dead when you are alive

and I heard him ask this I saw in the location of the pattern logic and I answered

the Sabine River is 510 miles long. it flows through pine forests and bayou country an area of abundant rainfall past towns like Mineola Gladewater Big Sandy Longview reaching to the southwest of Shreveport where it establishes the Texas-Louisiana boundary flowing south the state line the rest of its course impounded 10 miles west of Leesville to form the 70-mile-long Toledo Bend Reservoir with the Sabine National Forest along its western bank. south of the reservoir it passes through wetlands and widespread industrial areas near the Gulf Coast. 10 miles south of Orange it meets the Neches River from the west to form Sabine Lake which drains through Sabine Pass to the Gulf of Mexico. Hemphill is the county seat of Sabine County located on State Highway 87 at the junction of State Highway 184 surrounded by the Sabine National Forest and the Toledo Bend Reservoir. my home. where the tree is which once held a house not made of cypress. not hung with Spanish moss

i want to sleep for I have eaten Mama made us eat a big breakfast after fishing To shut me up Abe said and Mama was mad at Abe I wasn’t wearing my necklace of Spanish moss no more and we didn’t catch Him and I smell like fish in church Distraction Preacher says like seeing an old man remove the pickles from his hamburger For if you have not Love you are as it never fails that during the dry years you forget about the rich years and during the rich years you forget the dry years it’s always this memories rich with odors like a river when you’re fishing the lower river now many oil refineries and chemical plants degrading the water quality the on-going efforts to restore it restore the river and now I smell salt the old man and the old woman in their respective restaurants eating their respective dinners and this I get love knowing not what I have what I did to have it thinking it’s more thinking if I but caught that fish I would have all the love I need not knowing what that old man knows that old woman sitting alone at their tables thankful but for more than give us (not give me) our daily bread for without family you’re nothing so I mourn to be old to be old and alone all the ones whom I loved dead or far away and Where are you doesn’t matter to What is this that has happened if this old man and old woman could see each other through me and the flash of eye contact and I see a young man outside the church doors flirting I hear the roar of his motorcycle while he holds a drink in his lap and we go inside because it’s time the time of the Preacher when pigs fly and I will not cry (just as I will not laugh) for what I’ve lost in trying to gain I will never find something small enough to measure what I see to free line not only from its function of representing objects in the world but also from its task of describing or bounding shapes or figures in my mind for my mind is all

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