The girl who is reading outside the window on the small terraced balcony in the hour or so after sunrise, wind a kind of fist pressed or pressing against her chest, turns a page. Fingers slip between the seams of the book, lift as if to examine a fallen leaf in a courtyard far from trees. A corner flutters, flaps resistance.
Alone with the book, the turning pages make the sound of tarps opened on a mountain hillside. Sometimes she stops, listening for the crunch of steps over pine needles, fallen maple twigs. In Antibes, the only sounds at this hour which come to interrupt enter from the sea—gulls, a low foghorn from a far-out ship, the jingle of a sailboat or its sails like dry bedding taken down from a clothesline. Later, children’s voices will creep out over the sand chasing crabs, collecting tiny shells. Italian mini-trucks will backfire, screech round corners with late deliveries, puttering in drives as barrel-chested Algerians sip tea and coffee.
How the girl who finds herself inside the book will gaze suddenly outwards, the feeling inside “I see” bluer than these hours after sunrise when the potential for sound not yet in the world lures her closer to the edge.