Previously on Darklight: a traveller, the railway guard Anélia, and the Ibid Bird, came to the Inverse Realms, where time runs backwards. They have taken the electro-trolley to Sonandinho, where Selena lives. The first episode is here.
We disembarked, I complained about
the less-than-clement weather: rain flakes
and snowlets that rose and fell around us,
the cycle of water in an inconvenient microcosm,
and there we were.
You humans are all alike, no time no time,
no time is beautiful, before birth and after life.
My pancakes are shallow thoughts
stacked in the kitchen,
she adds a little honey.
I’m late for work at the hardware store,
mostly robots looking for spare parts.
They’re not like her.
I have a list of pastimes on a piece of paper
in case a stranger asks about them,
or what’s written on the paper.
One of them is making lists,
and one of them describes
the things I cannot understand—
• with more buttons than a penguin can count
• using the word quantum
• named Sonia
• and so on.
The perennial machinery must be serviced once a year,
today’s the day, and the job is mine.
I have a manual with clear instructions,
watery words on transparent paper,
and I study them closely with the tip of my nose—
when you’re done, don’t forget the disco ball,
although that might be written on the wall behind.
It’s time to consult my idea head,
neurons and neutrons orbiting on the shelf,
a capricious blend of memory and melancholy.