The force of the knuckles reaches a terminal pressure. The vitria crushed concave, her eye throbs and sparkles full with an almost uniform drift of pink pearls. She straightens her fingers and extracts her knuckles from her eyes. She presses the backs of her hands against her cheek bones and rubs her wrists against her eyelids. Her eyelids remain shut reflexively shielding the cavity to which bruised eyeballs wander forth. She sees a plain white circle inside each enclosed eye where the knuckles have evacuated. The circles are broad and stretch almost to the edges of her vision. Her eyelids remain closed. The white chamber expands to draw together her body and the voided eyes she floats within under the same cloud. The whole world of streets is buffed out in this benevolent pall.
The walls glisten coolly. The crest of the light drifts away from me standing on the sidewalk, carrying vapor from my sweat, and lint from my hair, washing toward my reflection, deep within the apartment. Light washing over a door on the left wall, moist plaster run through with long running beadlets, motionless. The carpet is spectral, the light proceeds, across a white shoe, and another white shoe, stacked ankle to ankle, toe’ing out from the ajar door where bathroom tile in small murky mint squares is visible, she lays out with limbs curled toward her body, you cannot sprawl out here, it is too compact, you cannot stand, your knees hit the water closet lid and hands fall limp smacking the vanity. Her fingers trace the baseboard and tile, trace over the dimpled sole of the shoe.
I look into the white sheet over the earth. It settles limply across my face when I crane my neck off of the sand. Long droops and drapes of dimmer value billow easily within the unending whiteness. It is luminous. When I blink I bring it with me but it is tissue pink. The discolorations remain. I cant figure if I am looking directly into the sun or into a continuous thin cloud with the sun behind it. When I scan the beach everything is faint. All I spend my time doing is checking back on things. I look to see if they have moved or turned. I watch round things carefully. I use the same cup for everything. With jars and bottles I hesitate to touch them ‘else I encounter them later rotated out of their resting position and lock myself in the bathroom to sleep.
All of the clouds and leaves represented in the patterned landscape take in the beads of sweaty dew that run down the chairlegs in periodic rivulets. Liquid rolls away from the body and saturates the groundcover, seeping into the network of knots before floating back into the night in a small atmospheric cycle. A cloudband in the textile refracts into an immaterial slick of floating liquid orbs. Now a real cloud, it filters and recomposes light just above the horizon. The orbs glimmer in anticipation of the distant silver morning, rising away from the rug in twisted interlocking festoons. Mauve light from beneath the double doors gives depth to the negligible surface of the cloud, hovering somewhere before and after the hand grasps the bronze chairleg.
She sees what your hands have touched, moved, placed, and discarded. You never touch your skin. You touch your clothes, running pointer finger and thumb together along your cuffs, the seams at the tops of your breast pockets, the hem of your dress or your coat. You smooth rumples in the fabric to eliminate traces. Your hands fight the inexorable building up of wrinkles, silt, salt, frays, stains, flakes, rubbing them out, clawing at the gravel, smoothing incessantly. You run your hands along door frames, pressing apartments away from you, sliding them into the sea, into the shadows, or out from the throw of streetlamps. You smooth the beach sand, bury cigarette butts, and scoop sand into footprints. Wear can be divested of cause. You run your fingertips along the frame of a mirror.
The city decays. In days of dry breezes the landscape dies peacefully. Your straightline mouth withers into a grin. At a distance the buildings around you are monstrous. The dry mold on their skin subdues a pinkness that the morning sun let clear through the air must have made into another living thing on the sidewalk with you. They are beige. Great windowless prisms that absorb light line the street, far back from it, miles, down other roads, or right before your eyes. You could pick them up. Reach out your hand and wave it through the air missing anything solid and slapping greasy raindrops. The powdered things, the unused and retired cobbles of the city, wash back downhill to the ocean in the running rain. Things take their places. You dont get near anything.
Clarity accompanies pain, but clarity of the pain. She senses that the body, returning to capture her eyes, has emerged from a burning cloud, then moved away from the street in her absence, taking her with it. It had returned to her or she had shrouded it continuously in a velvet pileus, each leaving each surrendered to the strains and shortcomings that insist upon the interdependence of her memory to her flesh. She is lost back within the extents of her body, the streets taper out into the night. She has returned to the sensate register of her experiences where she remains still, contained, a passenger. She sees the terminal concavity of virginity within the eyes, the road blocked abruptly by darkness, the door at the end of the bare hallway, shut and in moonless shade.
Apartments are for collapse, for contorted sleep, you cannot fit in the spaces, you would not fit in the spaces, your empty body would not alone fit in the spaces. Move in. Light from the street fills the frame of the mirror. Her back lit face is obliterated in shadow. The coiled warmth of a filament in a lightbulb washes outward from the ceiling creating a rust-colored circle on the floor. The soft shadows of lamps in the daytime cannot kiss your skin. The empty light of a lamp in the afternoon is swept away by the long rays of the sun. Even your reflection, not even a transmigration of your matter, only an empty illusion, is transitory in the dim apartment. The lamp reflects in the corner of the mirror, the rest of the frame filled with pale plaster, glistening.
The horizon is soft and rolling with black swells against white sky, so consistent that they arent changing. I see my walls and floor. Things happen across them or within their emptiness, but the edges are exact. There are places I can believe in that can recalibrate my senses, the shadowless wall of my bedroom, the desert tree outside my kitchen window growing out of the sidewalk with ancient black bark. The ocean doesnt check the tumult. It is a dark room I am locked out of, dark on the outside. Maybe I let it come to me. The spittle brown foam is blowing in chunks across the sand toward me. I feel how insides disintegrate. I couldnt walk into it. I would let it come over me and if I couldnt see in it then I wouldnt need to find a way out or find that I was gone.
Pale fingernails languidly penetrate the pile of the rug up to bluish cuticles, and flex, bending the distal knuckle flat, the metacarpal knuckles creep forward in space. Hand and wrist emerging into moonlight, thighs and shoulders burst forth from the integument yet still huddled beyond the mouth of five chairlegs, three chairlegs dwindling into the periphery, the body cloud wavers across the background. Seen from within, every orb of dew a witness to the whole other body, struggling to not be seen, the cloud unfolds into view, replacing home with far off destinations. The cloud is framed by a window that is of itself. Cloudbands of textile knots, exhalations punctuated by detached blossoms, threaded about the neck, shoulders, chest, refracting them, showing the body in patterned sleep.
The mirror is fogged over and nothing is visible beyond the fluorescent lamp over the mirror which shines directly down to your hands over the rim of the sink. A pale apparition dissolved into steam pushes away from the mirror, your hands behind your buttocks touch the glossy tile, each tiny square the size of your fingertips. Your fingertips correspond to the spots left on the tile in fine silky silt. Your hands fold across the flat bodice of your smock, smoothing it and the water bloused it outward, crossing them briefly, mummified, afloat, and placing them palm down over your breasts and pressing the stack of papers against your skin. Water and silt cast and disseminate your hands across the city all into the night. Submerging her eyes, they touch her face, and wash over it.
At the end of the road, where it collapses in a point, everything on it, near it, or beyond it, comes to a single function, where the air is a body and body to body everything collects to propose an insurmountable conclusion. If there was an end it would be because you end. You dont know where you are in the assortment, only that there is a single point at either end of the road. You always see it. You will never be a part of it. You are endless because you were there when this began, in some capacity, and when it began again you were there even more, and when it ends you, in fullness, begin. It is a burden. The reins belong to someone else. You could end the same, being anyone or be anywhere, and it seemed important that you were mutable, and the shepherd of all other ends.