Matthew Hen­ley

The Hurt

The London Magazine - - NEWS - Matthew Hen­ley

These days are sad­ness at its most vivid. You have, at dawn, at dusk, the prayer call, the Ezan, the Tak­bir and the Sha­hada sung like smoke caught in the heat of the throat, a prayer-wisp, a del­i­cate me­an­der­ing.

Then the bells from St. Sophia will start. Their self re­gard rat­tling the val­ley with sud­den gusts, a pres­sure change of sounds hang­ing at their tem­per­a­tures, the clat­ter of a loom­ing sum­mer squall.

That’s the hurt call­ing you across the val­ley. There’s noth­ing to do but drink it in; it will or won’t be wait­ing, but you, you for the very first time You, have wet skin and dry­ing eyes, the glit­ter-kiss of first rain danc­ing on the pave­ment, the roll of thun­der

like laugh­ter, com­ing when you least ex­pect it.

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