one undertaking in a history of artificial light

the bars, the restaurants by the water, crushed white pebbles underfoot, white sailboats in the harbor

on the docks the gleam of white underbellies of the thrashing multitudes

once hauled from the water in black nets, how long will they live? 

for hours, it seems, they will twitch, eyes wide in their astonishment

we watch men die all the time 

a man raises a gun to his head and in a moment, all that he remembers and all that he knows of this life dissolves and is washed away - rainwater on the vast ocean

I retain little. my memory is selective at best.

a peculiarity of a certain type of fish that as it dies, its back turns blue, the cheeks and gills red suffused with blood and when dead, it glows

we learn this of course in a history of artificial light, an attempt to make use of death in our relentless conquest of the dark 

what I remember is this: blue lips trembling, a dry cold hand, watery blue eyes that held mine until I had to look away

that morning, standing on the dock, the mist having cleared, the vault of sky empty and blue - no breeze, no stirring branches or sails

It was as if we had been captured beneath an enormous bell jar and were now being observed from above by a distant and indifferent tribe