Spring 1979 • Vol. I No. 2 Fiction

The Portage to San Cristobal of A. H.

1 --- You. The very old man chewed his lip. --- You. Is it really? Shema. In God's name. Look at you. Look at you now. You. The one out of hell. And saying it the young man, almost a boy, tightened his calves and tried to drive his worn boots into the ground. To be implacable. But the voice shook inside him. --- It is you. Isn't it. We have you. We have you. Simeon, is sending the signal. Everyone will know. The whole world. But not yet. We have to get you out of here. Ours. You are ours. You know that don't you. The living God. Into our hands. He delivered you into our hands. And it came to pass. You. And the boy forced himself to laugh, but couldn't hear the echo. The still air lay between them, the rain shaking out of its hot, still folds. --- Silent now? Whose voice. They say your voice could. The boy had never heard it. --- Burn cities. They say that when you spoke. Leaves turning to ash and men weeping. They say that women, just to hear your

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George Steiner is a fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

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