Lonely Planet

Rebecca Hazelton

As is the custom of this country, men and women

hold certain poses in the bible-tinted light

of a passing storm in late afternoon.

Though some are irregular in speech or gait,

the majority are clean and well-formed, smooth

limbed, and clear skinned. Many are excellent

on the horse, and there is a long history

of mathematics and philosophy, as well as

trade with other continents. Most interesting

is their language. They have many words

for the blue of a sky contrasting with peach tinged clouds:

airbrushed, Florida, parfait. They have numerous

idioms for apology, and for love, many of which

are interchangeable. When a man says to another —

you are the last grains of salt in the bottom of the cellar —

it is the highest of compliments. Salt gives life savor,

and is an element of preservation. It was once rare,

but no more so. It is incumbent on the one receiving

these words to refrain from pointing to the ocean, or

from producing tears from the inner corners

of his eyes, where recriminations are stored.

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