On reading Proust during quarantine

The imps of antiquity hum in my lungs, skipping echoes across the wide open spaces, the high-ceilinged places packed with notes of eras past in this pretty little braided skull of mine. A vestigial organ, the twentieth century mind, but it has not dissolved (I’ve not evolved) completely: still the melodies ache sweetly in the catacombs— the dome under which I slip modernity (an envelope beneath a foreign door). I hear it faintly, the pops and murmurs of fragranced Parisian candle wax, the sight of children riding past and back again, red jackets on copper wheels (and other trinkets from the pockets of before). It feels— as I read of tea-soaked madeleines and stare at a golden world on pause— that all I’ve felt, that all I am not is, but rather, was.

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