Sans soleil

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.

At dawn we'll be in Tokyo.
He used to write me from Africa.
He contrasted African time to European time,
and also to Asian time.

He said that in the 19th century mankind
had come to terms with space,

and that the great question of the 20th was
the coexistence of different concepts of time.

By the way, did you know that there are emus
in the Île de France?

He wrote me that in the Bijagós Islands
it's the young girls who choose their fiancées.