The yard on Lesvos has three trees that have been grafted with each other, the product range being a cross of lemon, tangerine, and lime — and one mysterious yuja that uncle managed to pick up while visiting the island a few weeks ago. The fruits are mostly hoarded on the porch as pelting weapons against petulant stray cats. This bounty is stockpiled by the jasmine tree — which The Mongrel has taken a particular liking to gnawing at in the mornings, before the ritual emptying of the bowels.
On a particularly windy day, one can hear not only the shutters, but the trees. But it’s waking to the eerie still mornings when I am uncertain of the air; an odd sentence to write, to be uncertain of air. After all, why would one remind anyone to breathe? The devil is in the constancy, and the quiet days are filled with burning fuel at the opened door for Mongrel Ritual. Mongrel is mostly cold-weary rather than scent-weary, from the timing of door-opening to breakfast. Born in a military refugee camp and winning the genetic lottery, a creature out of Frasier mixed with il ne sait quoi, he remains indifferent to citrus arsenal, enemy, and toxic gas.
For in his bouquet, only jasmine. In mine, how close that power plant is to the camps. The door gets closed for us two transplants.
How scrumptious that door click sounds; and so how ossifies our Pavlovian shrivelling hearts.