“I can see a greening land – lit by hues that play as if they’re the small children of morning.
“And the sun is red, and does not burn but echoes round the rocks – its light almost a sound that is not heard, but crashes like silent waves and leaves a mark on the path followed by the eye.
“The flowers are alive and large and they are smiling at us, so much that we love them at once, and we embrace them because we fear that the breeze will steal the moment from us.
“But even the breeze is gentle, and plays with our hair because it is mischievous, and we take off our clothes and feel it kiss us – with the hairs rising on our chests and legs as we shiver softly – and it almost enters us and makes us moan with a pleasure we did not dream would belong to that moment.
“The water sings. It flies. There are diamonds in it that are restless. They dash here and there like the dance of a crystalline butterfly.
“I am seeing that the sea is beautiful and blue. The sky once more, but more alive.
“And its cold on our bodies, pressing us in a maternal hug, like before, like after birth.
“Because here we are never born. Here the earth embraces us, and the sea rocks us as in its hammock. Here there is the lullaby of enchanted insects and the patting of the orchard’s sound, voiced by the breeze that teases without hurting.
“Here there is you. Here there is me. You are a woman and I am a man. You are a man and I am a woman. Embracing the threshing floor that grinds out love, and sieves what the universe feels.
“Which is us, because it has entered us and we now feel it is a part of us, and we (all of a sudden) a part of it.”
He became quiet. He thought.
“No, that is not a dragon coming out of the cave. That is the fear of tomorrow. But tomorrow does not exist. Only the dragon exists.
“It draws us to it, because it too is beautiful. Perhaps more than all that is around us, but we do not embrace it because then we’d need to close our eyes and we won’t be able to see it. And when we don’t see it we’ll be afraid.
“Look how large it is, and his eyes are emeralds touched by rubies. And he is blanking out the sun, because his skin is reminiscent of topaz, glinting with every step he takes towards us.
“And the fire which is coming out of his nostrils burns in place of the sun that did not and still does not burn. And we shiver because all at once we see in his eyes close to us, tomorrow without us, because the dragon will have destroyed us – the living Fear.
“No, this is not terror I am feeling rising like waves towards my throat – those are just my thoughts bringing down on the day the curtain of night.
“Because between today and tomorrow there is the night.”
He became quiet. He slept.
And on the morrow came the morrow, and with it came the dragon’s eyes.
2002 translation of “Hena (?)”, final story in the collection of "stream of consciousness" short stories,
Żagħżugħ bla isem (A young man with no name), 1985
The illustration is taken from the book by
Pullu u d-Dragun