[Published in Lunate: https://lunate.co.uk/flash/ouroboros-by-defne-izaka]
There is a man in the old town of Tabriz who walks down narrow streets at night, searching for discarded boxes. When he finds one, he sticks photographs inside of it, paints gestures and memories. These boxes travel with him to reputable galleries in New York, Cairo, and Buenos Aires. They enchant their viewers. They make them imagine different lives. They hold time. Some of the boxes are sold, some are lent, some of them he keeps.
The man’s house fills with these boxes over the years. At first the collection is a source of joy. It is proof of his success, proof that the man’s wanderings were not pointless, a sign that perhaps he is not so alone. The man dusts them periodically, sometimes he even talks to them. The boxes begin to change under his caresses. Slowly, they gain character and voice. They turn into creatures. They multiply. Until the man has to go around the old town of Tabriz at night, searching for a discarded box in which to hide.
He finds an old suitcase with a broken latch. He collects his footsteps, paints a replica of his hands, glues his child self to its leather and there he waits.