White Love
Bernard NoŽl

      --- I like mud.
      --- Sure, he says, but killing's an arid pleasure, for if you can vary the techniques, the victim stubbornly refuses to die only once.

      --- It smells like god, She says, and facing the mirror I burst out laughing.
      Calmly, she rotates Her arse, and little by little Her hole gapes and salivates.
      --- Look, She says, look : god ruminates.
      I lean out of bed and grab my shoe. A flick and the mirror cracks, starring the infamous rumination.
      --- What's changed? she asks.
      --- The depths of time, I say.
      But already I'm no longer inside my skin : I am in the star.

      At the appointed time She entered, naked and white, and settled in the centre of the set, turning her back on me.
      --- What're You thinking about? I asked before long.
      --- ...
      Nothing moves. The air turns blue.
      --- What're You thinking?
      --- ...
      It is late. Something or someone in me lifts armfuls of snow. I remember that I'm not moving either.
      --- What're you thinking?
      --- ...
      Then, very slowly, the statue leans over, and at the abse of Her back the eye of god half-opens his eyelids.
      And I laugh : my prick can poke out that eye.

      --- Create me a silent cry.

      The room is empty. It is cold. We are naked.
      --- Look, I say.
      And I lift up my left arm. Very straight.
      --- Look!
      The tension turns my heart blue, and I speak from behind my lips. Between us the air is freezing, for our gazes set there.
      --- The Other, She cries.
      And immediately my prick stands up, the space grows longer and spills out round it, whilst my arm continues to suspend time. I...
      But suddenly She cries :
      --- I is Another!
      And her mouth begins to devour the space.

      ... god in order to betray my body systematically, and my body in order to betray god definitively...

      She and I, we stretch out on a mirror. We are naked. We do not exist.
      Our friends are talking on one side. From time to time one of them tramples us under foot in passing. He is not aware of it. We are cold.
      In the morning those who are talking discover us with astonishment.
      --- Look, one says, our words became flesh.
      He bends over and touches me. Then, having asked the help of another, he lifts me up and deposits me on Her.
      Later, whilst one arranges a bank of blue bulbs around the mirror, someone binds us limb to limb, Her and me, seeing to it that our arms are crossed.
      A pale light flashes on : it makes us float in the air of the mirror. Our friends gather round to behold the spectacle.
      --- Verba volent, one says.
      --- Amen, the others respond.

      She is alone with me, and white --- white of absence through having not been touched. She is at the mercy of a gesture.
      --- You're cold like love, I say.
      --- You lack a knife, She says.
      Her voice is a trembling at the edge of the thaw : I have seen it.
      --- Look, She says.
      An explosion of heads, shoulders and arms throws the area into confusion and, at the bottom of Her inverted body, Her cunt appears in front of me.
      --- Don't move, She says. I am that absence which gnaws at you... You only embrace me so as to find me facing you again... In your arms I always am or else already past or still future... Light up the mirrors...
      I do it.
      An infinite number of sexes grow around me. My member stands out and I have an infinite number of members at the tips of these infinite number of sexes. The anguish of the number ignites a terrifying pleasure along the length of the nerves, but the number remains intact before the balancing-rod of my prick.
      I switch off.
      O solitude still more numerous... If You speak, You will be behind me, and if I speak, You will believe I am behind You... and throughout eternity we will revolve face to face without seeing ourselves...
      The inversion of her body is heaven and an aurora. I behold this sign and I belly-laugh.
      --- The knife, She says.
      I take up the white weapon.
      Nothing must be disturbed, The motion must be quick enough to remain invisible.
      The knife is driven between her two eyelids.
      --- I love you, I say.
      The water of time whitens.
      Later I am going to fall on my knees before Her and, my lips sucking the weapon, return it to my belt. The void then kisses my mouth, and I stick my tongue out at it.

      The set is bare, the floor covered with ashes.
      --- Let your presence be felt, says the voice.
      She enters. She advances. We fall on our knees in a circle around Her. She stands straight and naked.
      --- Let everything commence, says the voice.
      And the officiant, taking up a handful of ashes, lets them trickle slowly from one hand to the other, then from one person to the other.
      A cry.
      The light is focussed on Her, and our bodies are the skin of that luminous air which encases Her.
      --- O frigid one, I believe in You, chants the voice.
      --- I believe in You, we say.
      --- O vein of glass, I believe in You.
      --- I believe in You.
      --- O frozen eye, I believe in You.
      --- I believe in You.
      Our necks tilt back towards the darkness, and her opaque milk flows into our eyes. Flows and fills us. Then, the nerves inside form a white system.
      --- Credo, says the voice.
      Our eyelids close, and behind them our eyes dissolve. And that acid ravages the whole system. And we are hollow.

translated by paul buck.
English translation taken from the FRENCH CURTAINS issue of CURTAINS magazine, original text written in February 1956 and published in le Lieu des signes (Pauvert, 1971).

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