Without Walls

It was in the thirteenth year of my travels that I came to Oulipo. From afar, one cannot imagine it is a city for there are no structures to define it.

The steppes on which Oulipo is settled are so vast the Earth falls away at the extremes of vision, confused with the sky. The inhabitants gather at night in family units. Their homes have chairs, tables and beds, but they do not contain them.

When I first saw Rabi’ah she was sleeping. Her father had invited me to his home to share his memories of the city. We sat, smoking dark weed and sharing pungent coffee, only a few feet from her.

In the second week we slept together. Her father smoked and supped a few feet away but paid no heed.

A year passed. By that point I was almost insane. I raved at men for looking on my lover. I covered and constrained her with my embrace but still she was not hidden.

Oulipo merged with the horizon behind me. I wept, for I know now that I am not yet ready to live in a world without walls, nor to love in a land with no limits.

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