Friday, February 22, 2008

Nearly an island

You cannot be an island, no one can be, that is what they say. But you are surely not, obviously not, mainland.

So what on this earth, literally, are you?

A pennisula? Perhaps. No. Even better, well, not better, but more accurate, a presqu'île. Which is not an island, not at all, but closer to being one than a pennisula. That is you. Joined to the mainland only by the long slender curve of your neck. Head on the mainland, body and viscera finding their ground in the surrounding ocean.

Understanding finally, you allow the soft fingertips of mercy to trace the outline of your lips. Your smile will never be the same.

3 comments:

beth said...

You don't have to be on an island to feel the isolation of being on a island

Sarah said...

I remember the first time I encountered the word "presqu'ile"--I was visiting Lyon and saw it on a sign when the Rhone and the Saone rivers came together (am I recalling those names right?). Not knowing it was the official French geographic term for a peninsula, I thought it was the most beautiful, bittersweet description of that sliver of land. It wanted so badly to be an island, but it wasn't. It was just "presque."

Nicole said...

Beth - Yep.

Sarah - I have that same feeling about it - it's such a melancholy word. Well, almost word.