~ Michael Ondaatje

The Cave of the Swimmers - from "The English Patient" ~

My darling, Iím waiting for you.
How long is a day in the dark? Or a week?
The fire is gone now, and Iím cold. Horribly cold.
I really ought to drag myself outside, but then thereíd be the sun.
Iím afraid I waste the light on the paintings and on writing these words.

We die.
We die rich with lovers and tribes,
tastes we have swallowed,
bodies we have entered and swum up like rivers,
fears we have hidden in like this wretched cave.

I want all these marks on my body.
Weíre the real countries, not the boundaries drawn on maps,
with the names of powerful men.

I know youíll come and carry me out into the Palace of Winds.
Thatís what Iíve wanted. To walk in such a place with you.
With friends. An earth without maps.

The lampís gone out.
Iím writing in the darkness.