What Boundaries

by Oonah V Joslin


Twenty teenagers have been stabbed to death in the British capital so far this year. In most discussion of this subject — and particularly in those involving politicians and the media — there is darkness rather than light.

An acuteness of hunger satiated by the pungency of blood animates endeavours to ascendancy. The hunt serves the weapon and the weapon, the hunt. Survival breeds more mouths than hunger does and keens the will. Superiority, dominance, leisure time to plan and make and think.

There must be a limit to everything, otherwise how would you know where to stop? What are the parameters here? The contours of the cerebellum allow such thoughts.

The bear went over the mountain, to see what he could see. And what d’you think he saw? Hannibal and his elephants? The Great Wall? The other side of Olympus Mons? A Woolly Mammoth gilding a lily?

The rim of a world is stark and lonely. There’s no place left to go from the apex but down. All margins are that way.

Civilization. Where do I go from here?

Carriage return. End of story.

For you maybe, not for me.

Watch your lip...

Or you’ll what?

I’ll...

Rain on my picnic...

I’ll...

Ignore me again? Report me to the delegates in their sharp dinner suits, vomiting whilst deploring waste, after a six-course meal that cost a soldier an arm and a leg? I’ll show them waste in an African state on the edge.

Shush. Loose talk costs lives.

Has the storm reached the brim of the teacup or have we gone beyond the sharpness of the flippant tongue to the knife in the scone and red jam spilling?

Survival, superiority. Insidious it creeps. It sidles, it steals, sequesters steels.

The threshold of the flesh is easily breached when the barriers drop, when the strop is on and the knife whetted, the appetite honed to proceed. A zest for death.

We blame the knife. Never discuss the rhinoceros in the room.

On an arm of a small spiral galaxy spinning around a super-giant of a black hole in a quadrant of a region that has no name but home, far from the centre of this multiverse, spins a medium-sized yellow star, about halfway through its life. Around it travels a tiny blue disc, containing the only life we’ve ever found — and they’re killing each other.


Copyright © 2008 by Oonah V Joslin

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