A Sun to Be Sewn Buy from other retailers

Publication Date: Mar 21, 2023

160 pp


List Price US: $15.99

ISBN: 978-1-63542-282-5

Trim Size: 5.01 x 7.48 x 0.53 in.


List Price US: $9.99

ISBN: 978-1-63542-283-2

A Sun to Be Sewn

A Novel

They’re crazy, these birds criss-crossing my mind. Their wings, an archipelago of fire. Their singing, a rolling hill of turbulent skies. Messengers of light, without a doubt, who cause the memory of the touch against my skin on the last day of class to beat even louder inside of me. But, as usual, I still can’t capture some small glimmer of this godsend, I still can’t put to paper this flash of lightning that expands into a chill in my arteries. Words crossed out. I’m making a kingdom of crumpled papers.
Papa puts on his robe of anger to get us worked up, to mess with our heads. A brief reminder of the purpose of his mouth, a machine gun on the lookout for the slightest opportunity. Blood open to fire, he rants and raves, drifts in his own storm, gives his whole body over to a violent tirade, and yells like he has never been yelled at, even in his childhood. If childhood is the age of silence, as he believes, then he didn’t have an actual childhood. The most elusive chapter of his story that comes to mind is his alliance with the streets. And as the Angel of Metal says, you’re not a child anymore when the streets are the only one cradling you.
Papa stretches out under the roof, a raging wave. Outside, the sky gathers into a web of lace. The day’s dying light hangs its veil silently on the end of an invisible wind. It’s the night that has come to let us know. Streaming shadows soak up the sunset. The well-known uproar from our mouths that marks the restoring of electricity hasn’t kicked off yet. Usually, if we’ve already put something in our stomachs and still have five gourdes left, we buy ourselves a candle to erode the darkness. It’s our way of atoning for the days marked with basic light. Electricity, we don’t expect it every day. There’s hardly any of it, a common absence around here, like fathers in the household. The azure is fading, not a star to keep our eyes under the illusion of the blue sky, it contaminates the heart of the house. It’s the flashlight of a phone that helps us shine a hole onto the skin of the shadowy visitor.

You’ ll be . . .

If his cell phone’s dead, he’ll be more than just a little upset. There’s no way he’s missing a single call. Papa lands an impressive slap to my head and snatches his phone, which I was using to light up the room. He definitely would’ve ripped my arm off with it if he could. I try not to cry, fearing the onslaught isn’t over. Instead, I scurry to scoop up off the floor the papers on which I was accusing language for its painful failure, right before Hurricane Papa put an end to it.
Will I ever finish this letter? Orange Blossom, my mother, retreats to the far side of the room. She doesn’t dare to speak, has never dared to cut out her lifeless tongue. Years of silence that she’s blind to, an eternity she’s suffered her whole life. My mother holds her words, to avoid plunging her mouth back into bitter beginnings. Silence, then violence. No: violence, then silence. Orange Blossom is afraid to break the ice, she pretends she doesn’t see anything, she defies her emotional charge by wringing out the laundry, which now sings louder at the ends of her gripped hands.
She’s lucky to be a bit far away, otherwise she’d crumble under the executioner’s muscles. The executioner who her mouth can’t name.

You’ ll be . . . You’ ll be alone.

Casket of tenderness, Papa feels life coursing through his body only when he hits. To hit . . .
Protecting against the blows is pointless. The poetics of the fist. I strike, therefore I am. Papa doesn’t care for soft games. He dislikes all things that don’t, according to him, hurt the muscles enough. He can’t stand literature, for example.
For him, to write would be a real insult to his body. He isn’t one of those people who opens their window to poetry. Poets have enormous fists: he’d make Lavilliers think twice about ever singing this verse. He doesn’t have a feel for words. One day, as he sat watching a writer ramble on TV—it’s not that he didn’t understand the writer’s comments, it’s just that the man disgusted him for being content with being a writer—he growled at the screen like a sphinx: Maybe if you thought about other things besides expanding your bibliography, if you threw as many punches as you did words, maybe you’d take down a good chunk of these assholes you’d like to see shut up!

The heart of the neighborhood beats to the rhythm of nothingness. Shadows branch
out relentlessly, until forming one of those nights where the last glow of the retinas perishes. One of those heavy nights that you feel pulling on the clock to abort dawn’s dreams. One of those nights that gives the street its formidable attire.
Night lets her silence flow at the mercy of the concrete while the guns conduct the symphony.
I look again at the page, I insist, I invite the song to couple with my voice: How to spell beyond the alphabets of emptiness, this feeling that boils in my blood? Papa, lying on a small bench in front of the door, resumes one of his routine gestures: from his lips, he lifts a red dot that erodes only a small patch of the darkness that contorts the space. Horseman of the clouds, he raises his joint to the sky, as if he were trying to draw the attention of the god that the legend of the mouth that gives and the ear that receives has been hiding there for ages. Papa ignores him, but it seems like the Most High captures him in his sight line, hoping he’ll bless him with a puff. Who knows, maybe he weeps for a little bit of cannabis. Go figure where the phenomenon of rain comes from . . . Poor God! They accused him of having created everything, yet he’s fascinated by a simple plant that can make him journey beyond the stars, beyond the sad sky where humans have relegated him to.

You’ ll be . . . You’ ll be alone.

My mother tries to raise her gaze, shackled under the scrap metal of fear. A frail glance behind Papa’s back, then head down—you can feel her harvesting a deep wound, her eyes producing streams of water complicit in a heavy silence.
While his clothes occupy Orange Blossom’s hands in a basin, Papa tries to concentrate
on the smoke that he steers with an acrobatic breath. But difficult to achieve. Forever haunted by an important question, trapped between his own enclaves, eternal cobwebs where his soul remains coiled. A question that comes back to him each time he has the misfortune to reflect on the life that he harbors. What have I done with my human light? That is his wound. He’d like to dig into his soul, plunge into his inner mirror, imagine himself otherwise, jump on his scattered fragments. But it’s a waste of time to lure this reflection which he never knew how to catch. That’s to shatter against the smirk of life. He curses his thoughts. The obsession with guns already impregnates him more than his reason. He no longer even polishes the metal.
Papa sees beautiful promises shining in the drops of blood that cover it. A return to the red thread of his life.
The door to the room would surely want to punish him for slamming it so hard on his way out. The noise that emanates extends in the same virulence as the voice of Papa hurling one last address at me. You’ ll be . . .

You’ ll be alone in the great night. It’s not the first time I’ve heard this phrase. It makes my veins itch. I’ve always tried, and still try, to understand its meaning. Papa repeats it to me often, it flows in his fury against me like the thread of a destiny stretched to my throat.
I finish my piece of bread and my glass of sweetened water, then lie down on what we dare call a bed, I mean, something that barely separates the body from the floor. You have to rub shoulders with poverty to know this. Or just have lived in this city on the night of the twelfth day of the year that began the second decade of the twenty-first century. The bodies that caressed the concrete. The skin surrendered to the pleasure of the pavement. Without any reluctance. After the frenetic revolt of the walls, conquering the night on the bare floor was becoming the inevitable outlook of an entire people.
Mom seems to be done with the laundry. But I still don’t feel her warmth next to me. I’ll still have to wait to enjoy this moment where I feel safe when she lies down next to me. I hear her pouring rum. She likes to drink to allow her insomnia flowers to grow.

In my head, I rebuild the circle of my life, imagine all the holes where I could crash to sleep, get away from the world for a few hours. It’s not enough. The day lingers in my retina, my eyelids still stand on the battlefield. Before me a tough climb to orchestrate. Papa and his tune are slashing my soul. You’ ll be . . . I shatter against the dense evening, I don’t know how to finish my letter, I don’t know how to lay my heart on the page. For a long time, bitter shadows have stolen my words, a river of silence flows through me. How do I address my mirror-heart, how can I declare my love for this being who’s burning my veins? I exhaust myself, while the clock ticks too slowly. I spend time tossing and turning my body, before finally falling on sleep’s doorstep.
The night waters my nightmares all the way through the morning.

The sun gently greets the walls, splits the door, and nestles its glow inside the room. I unfold my eyelids. I won’t have seen my mother in that first glow of the day. I change out of my raggedy clothes with their taste of the night, restore my face with the magic of a large cup of water, and still tend to my teeth with a tired brush and without the use of toothpaste. It’s been a ritual for a long time. I wash. Because I’m dressed in the traces of a dirty life. Because my sky loiters beneath muddy clouds. I wash. I learned to wash, to wash despite everything.

Ever since I was little, my mother never misses an opportunity to instill in me principles, which she considers more necessary than anything else in life. You don’t stay dirty, Cracked Head! Pain already eats at you inside, you don’t need to advertise it. Your guts, your blood, they bathe in shadow. At least keep the sun on your lips, let the light shine on your skin. Wash yourself, my girl. There. To wash myself despite everything . . . I kept her words, or rather her words kept me, I don’t know. Anyway, childhood is a wound that can’t be washed away.

I could’ve washed myself much better if water was counted on as a right for me. A fountain five hundred meters away, and when I arrive with my bucket, I still have to contend with fifty other people. The fight, similar to the waltz of nocturnal dogs in the urban areas. Not the struggle, the fight. If we were talking about a struggle, we could take it in the veins. We could amass all our torn energies to turn things around. Vomit our thirst against city hall. The struggle for water. To finally have a drink of our rights. But every day we endorse a struggle that breaks against our own faces. We take up causes that don’t go beyond the walls of the district, that don’t even go beyond the flanks of this fountain.
To exert myself for four hours like I did yesterday—between verbal outrage and savage confrontation of the body—to bring back one bucket of water. I can’t set out on this path before I leave for school this morning.

I’ve never depended on this life to live. It’s not an illusory circle like school that’s going to rip me away from this walk. School is without a doubt the most rotten nonsense that our worlds, however, seek to illuminate. At least that’s what the schools in my country tell me. Endless rules, like thorns under our tender footsteps. Nothing to do with the fucking life that awaits us just at the end of the street. With its charter renewed with every fading moment. We learn to count at school, elsewhere others fabricate statistics. Some sign big contracts they can’t even read, others would give their lives to learn to decipher letters, to learn to read in one of these schools in the area: Holy Ruin Mother of Bourdin School, Crop Top Middle School, Sisters of Stain and Slut, Bogus Academy, Eew Middle School, or even the St. Facial Seminary, which I attend.

To teach me? I’m well educated on the damages of my world, on its decadent allure and its obscene antics that stalk the last line of human defense. I come here for two reasons: to answer the lie of a society selling diplomas and especially to look out for the moon of my life, she who regulates my chills.
The teacher digs deep into his reserve of saliva and insists that we take him seriously, as if the happy geometry of life emanated from his mouth. We know what pattern to draw, we solve all the problems here, we invent a world of deceptions and we start to believe it. And so we put barricades on our own trails, a harsh gray in front of our dreams of whiteness. Thousands of mirages at the mouths of our eyes. Everything we learn here has nothing to do with what’s happening elsewhere, outside of this building.
As if we were going to stay stuck in the world of school. As if we were just derelicts, not giving a shit about a spirit that’d keep us standing in the face of life.

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