18 Nov 2013

A Statistician to His Love – Peter Goldsworthy

[1951–current, Australian]

Men kill women in bedrooms, usually 
by hand, or gun. Women kill men, 
less often, in kitchens, with knives. 
Don’t be alarmed, there is understanding 
to be sucked from all such hard 
and bony facts, or at least a sense 
of symmetry. Drowned men – an 
instance – float face down, women up. 
But women, ignited, burn more fiercely. 
The death camp pyres were therefore, 
sensibly, women and children first, 
an oily kind of kindling. The men 
were stacked in rows on top. Yes, 
there is always logic in this world. 
And neatness. And the comfort 
of fact. Did I mention that suicides 
outnumber homicides? The figures 
are reliable. So stay awhile yet 
with me: the person to avoid, alone,
is mostly you yourself.

Source: Goldsworthy, P 1992, After the Ball, National Library of Australia, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.

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