If a time comes where there is no other
way / if you find that the world has turned
bitter as nine mugwort / if you suspect
There are things you’ll never know. They are things that sit with you like the hard sliver of a popcorn kernel that slides between the gum and the molar. You tongue at them, at the swollen gum line, trying to pry them free. You are a person that likes knowing things for the sake of knowing them. Questions without answers rankle you. Those little pieces of popcorn kernels, for example? Those are called the pericarp. You looked it up because not knowing it irritated you.
For Prisoner #5, walking preceded The Walk. It began as nothing more than exercise.
What ultimately became a triumph of imagination and endurance grew from the mundane act of counting. With each trip around the prison yard, he moved a dried pea from one pocket to the other.
In this way, Prisoner #5 never lost track of how many times he circled the yard.
It seems that all I know is here at Sukh Niwas; it is my entire universe.
I know that mango season is over, and the weather has cooled, and we are waiting for the guavas to ripen. This year it’s as if I’d never noticed anything before. Yet somewhere in my bones I know I’ve seen them before—the seasons.
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