Sans soleil

The first image he told me about
was of three children on a road in Iceland, in 1965.

He said that for him it was the image of happiness
and also that he had tried several times to link it
to other images, but it never worked.

He wrote me: one day I'll have to put
it all alone at the beginning of a film

with a long piece of black leader;
if they don't see happiness in the picture,
at least they'll see the black.

He wrote: I'm just back from Hokkaido,
the Northern Island.

Rich and hurried Japanese take the plane,
others take the ferry:

waiting, immobility, snatches of sleep.
Curiously all of that makes me think of a past or future war:
night trains, air raids, fallout shelters, small fragments
of war enshrined in everyday life.

He liked the fragility of those moments
suspended in time.

Those memories whose only function it being
to leave behind nothing but memories.

He wrote: I've been round the world several times
and now only banality still interests me.

On this trip I've tracked it with
the relentlessness of a bounty hunter.