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(11) Irgiwani

What I see is a Peregrine Falcon, though not as it appears in nature. I see it in the park, behind the convent the council converted into the county’s archives. There is an overgrown path here, it terminates in tangled greenery—old iron fences, 1950s vintage, sink into the ground here. It is against this backdrop that the bird appears; the Falcon is wireframe in appearance—all in yellow; and it jumps—flies—through yellow and orange frameworks, just the thin geometric shapes that you might see in an elementary mathematics textbook.

There used to be novelty computer games, crude games in the early ’90s with thick black goggles, where you held the game up to your eyes and vanished into it—hunted sharks or space invaders, hunted them in bright primary colours just as the Falcon appears to me now; and again the wire frame predominates. The whole game was shaped like a boat prow or a spaceship coloured burgundy red and you held it to your eyes and vanished into the game. Yes, this was what the bird was like—just a wire frame all aflame in yellow, right down to the dapples on its feathers.

It came from the game into reality, though they have never made a game like this bird. Before I see the bird, I rest my hand on a tree—it has an errant branch that has escaped the pruner’s shears, on it twist two shrivelled leaves; a little life against death. I place my palm flat against the trunk, let the images come—the cavalier and his lover who met under this tree; her white top pulled close over her bosom by a drawstring, the red feather in his large brown hat. He looks down at her. Then other images push them aside, a human tumult under the trees—the figures mix and interweave with each other, too many lives to untangle. Yet surely not so many people could have lived here, passed this tree?


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