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Salam

By Gaston PAUL EFFA Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire

February 8th…

Whale calf…Yes, decidedly, those words. Those very words, those very words and none other. We were walking along the water’s edge.

I had distinctly heard a voice in the warm air: “it’s a whale calf!” Between the jellyfish, the algae and other waste, it had washed up at our feet like a lone pebble that the sea licked but did not cover. Its eyes were rolled back and were staring at me. They had given up the fight, as they had now turned toward the horizon and were already pursuing the voyage to other estuaries, other lulls, other oceans.

Whale calves are much closer to us than ourselves. They recognize each other by their white bellies, like a cotton cloud pinned into the firmament.

Desire rose in me to lie beside the small cetacean as dogs lie on the tombs of their masters, waiting, in their turn, to sink into the same night.

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