By Stephen McNally
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So he imagined a train, and a train pulled up before him. Once inside, he imagined a railroad that shot into the fish eye of time, and there was a railroad. He imagined a journey so impossible it would lead him to a land of hard bricks and gravity, and he found my world. Then he imagined a man with blue rings of fire in his brain and he found me. The days we have spent together! Neither of us alone, for I tell him all the famous Bible stories and explain the most obtuse scenes from Swedish movies.
As far as I'm concerned, they're all monkey trainers! Perry they have my legs and my arms. They have nearly everything. You could say I'm not human. I'm not through! Page 23 For I've discovered that my brain is a great ocean the conquistadors never found. Let's go sailing there, you and I! We'll leave the butchers and assassins stomping on the shore; we'll set sail for the island of the blue mountains, where the fires burn green and give off the scent of lilacs; we'll sing out old Phoenician ballads about the life of the sea, about wooden tables heaped with wine, about women, about the wanderings of the sun and moon, about us; we'll watch the dolphins nuzzle against the hull and feed them pie and sausage; we'll let the octopi come on board; we'll live forever if we try!
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data McNally, Stephen, 1963- Child in amber / Stephen McNally. cm. paper). Title. 54dc20 92-33398 CIP British Library Cataloguing in Publication data are available. " Page v FOR MY MOTHER AND FATHER The youth walks up to the white horse, to put its halter on and the horse looks at him in silence. They are so silent they are in another world. D. H. Lawrence Page vii Contents Our Story Our Story 3 Sick Child 4 There's Really No Reason I Should Worry, Since There's No Way of Knowing What's Really Going On 5 Sentenced 6 Beautiful Child 8 Playthings of the Emperor 10 Heavenly 11 Poem for Kevin and Laura 12 Rabbit 13 We Were beyond Help 16 Coastline 17 Indian on the Test Pattern 18 Mysteries 19 Olmec Head 20 The Stars and the Beautiful Tattooed Man Snow 27 The Stars and the Beautiful Tattooed Man 28 The Adventure 29 Procession 30 Moon 31 Out by the Side of the House Where the Wild Flowers 32 Idmon 33 Among the Ruins 34 Evening of the Trapeze Artist 35 In Motion 36 Breath of Love (1900) 37 Grief for the Living 38 Page viii Report from the Interior Report from the Interior 41 The Intruders 42 The Little Girl on the Bridge 43 Their Voices 44 Nightfall 45 The Door in the Sky 46 The Suicide 48 Poem with Two Swans and a Pair of Glasses 49 The Final Despair 50 The Message One Afternoon 55 Human Pursuits 57 The Coffin Maker 58 Bergman 59 What the Sky Brings 61 Testament 62 To Hold up the Weight of the World 63 The Crossing 65 At Last and Again 66 The Message 67 Page 1 Our Story Page 3 Our Story We loaded up the sea-green Oldsmobile that Sunday my family's day togetherand drove South on the Beltline road, creaking like a Spanish Galleon past the feed store where Mark Johnson would gun his wife down three years later on a summer night, past the VFW dance hall where the State Troopers would find Clem Gordon hanging by his neck from the swaying rafters, out to the turnpike which shot through the thin horizon.