THE PARCEL

by Dimitra Ioannou

They don’t need to breath. They’re turning yellow, they will go mouldy, they wither. They are arranged on top and next to one another in the same package. Neither souvenirs, nor fragile; rather, samples. One more. A few. They were either given to me or I found them. If you see them all together they seem to lie in waiting, not at all idle inside their wrapping―they were gathered; they will get somewhere. The lizard is the last one to be wrapped.

They are sent by registered post. Neither important, nor gifts. The name and address of the sender are the same as the recipient’s. The parcel will normally arrive in ten, fifteen days, and if I delay I might receive it one month later. Until then they will have become unrecognizable. Not to be opened. They will return in extensive rot. I’ll have to remember them as they were. Neither intimacy, nor nostalgia. The lizard was green, with no tale, bigger than the others. A slow organic process.

I’ve been watching them, one by one, for some time now. Bubble-wrapped they become a blur and I know what will happen next.

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