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A Sentence About a Sentence I Love, by Ben Spivey

And when the pains finally grew sharp I thought that death should come like that—like childbirth, into the birth of silence and no light—and I stood up one last time and pushed the curtains apart to have a glimpse across the gardens, my fence, to the waves upon waves of velvet green beyond.

—from Stanley Crawford’s Log Of The S.S. The Mrs Unguentine

The sharp pains are the short moments before Mrs Unguentine goes into labor—Crawford’s sentence peaks the loneliness of her life, imagines the quietness of her death, and gives an organic, mechanical repetition to the act of her giving birth—layers upon layers, the vision of eden, and the apocalyptic unknown of the waves beyond the fathomable are contrasts that swell the tonality of beginning and end, giving depth and meaning to something so common.

 

Ben Spivey is the author of Flowing in the Gossamer Fold and Black God.

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