Are We Here Just for Saying?
For Pedro Mairal, and Matt Hooton’s bike
I ride the linear park. The path follows the water’s course from hills to sea in a narrow strip. It appears and disappears, bumps and grinds, along the top of eroded banks, past the backs of houses, under and over bridges. Curvilinear, it’s like a mobius strip. You find yourself on the other side of the water without knowing how you got there. I ride the linear path in the linear park as if it’s a way through life. It’s not a straight line.
Nicholas Jose’s novels include Paper Nautilus and The Red Thread. He has published short stories, essays and a memoir and is co-editor, with Xianlin Song, of Everything Changes: Australian Writers and China (2019) and, with Benjamin Madden, of Antipodean China: Reflections on Literary Exchange (2021).