Homes bound together in the night stand in a moderately low continuous surface bounding the street. She cannot penetrate the line into the flesh of the city. She cannot penetrate a single empty home into a spartan chamber that awaits nothing, she dares not gouge her eyes further or close them now because bodies form first out of the darkness. Her body is spread out before her eyes. The pressure continues to draw tenderness. Her legs, crossed at the ankles run parallel to the street, continuing to ignore the desired direction of her character, the cross current fighting the streets and careening into the homes, and collapsing at their feet. She allows profane shadows to bloom across the walls empaneling them into her judgment and distinguishing them from the night sky.
Your inverted palms touch the door amidst debris and driftwood, touching the coats of paint in succession, sliding your fingernails beneath each stratum, you invite yourself into the latent abandonments, recuperations, refusals, surrenders, and fatal triumphs of each apartment that, scattered about by the tides, has merely been replicated, found again elsewheres, reinhabited, repainted, and stocked with discarded items that have washed ashore enough times that they cannot be thrown back, and grow familiar. Each coat of paint covers the apartment that has been evacuated at that particular point in time, its color a memorial. Each coat also creates a new apartment at some distant point in space, which you will undoubtedly step into again, somewhere further east.
The sand has dried around me. It happens slowly and nothing else happens. You experience the things that happen in between actual events, not the events. The feeling of each grain of sand cutting the skin on my wrist sends me to each moment, each injury, in separate voyages. I move my palm over the sand to make a smooth area and then I spiral into it with my fingertip unearthing a cigarette filter. I look away from the ocean because I know it is there. I know it is there when I don’t see it. When I wake up turned around I know which direction it is from me but it isn’t something I ever need to corroborate. The gravity of the geographic traumas exist in blinks or breaths. To know only what hasn’t happened or what you can only guess is there is debilitating.
The argosies that ride the dewy night carry refractions of all they inhabit. The hortulan landscape of wispy dendritic cornflower blossoms and curls, stippled out in the knotted textile surface, become real, amplified through the drifting body. Carry these details inside to make the translucent night familiar. The cloud body consumes and contains the leafy mosaic, vapor replaced by pattern, knot gazing upon knot. The rug rolls up upon each breath and sputter. The knots unfurl into long diamonds. Cloudbands ascend, knees rasp, knees grind, festooned limbs reach out to gaze back upon shoulders and other body parts more easily definable by their profiles and characteristics than any consistent location within the body, guardstrips and frames dissolve in vermilion parhelia.
In the dampness things get matted into one another in glistening confusion. Hair, collar, pavement, cheek all flatten and slide across one another. You look out across your shoulder with unfocused eyes toward light from darkness, whatever is distant, a failure fixation, and you cannot touch your toes without bending your knees. Your knees are bent and stacked and your feet are stacked ankle on ankle, your hands curled and empty. The night lights play off of unseen waters slowly rolling and are gathered up in the dew and condensation. You glimpse inert kitchen fluorescent sconces, twill browned lampshade over milk glass, plastic globes, candle flames, and a bare light bulb rejected by every mirror across Venice before dying into the dark water, a dim, uncontested death.
When the rain falls you see each drop in place in the emptiness around you. The air between the drops is dry. You inhabit that scattered territory and watch the drops hit your skin and clothes. You turn up your collar beneath your hair to sheet water away from your neck so that you dont seize up. When it rains in the desert the water collects and looms. There is nowhere for it to go against all of the hard old things. It draws things down into flooded concrete caverns below the dusty dry roads. It becomes deadly. A torrent of needling beadlets blown down Sepulveda, through the hills, while you clung to the bark of a dry beige tree, ramps down your chest and sternum and soaks your skirts. You are looking for somewhere the rain isn’t, somewhere the sun won’t be.
The recent dusk sky, a solid shell laced together from shades of throbbing orange and purple, depthless, is inexorably overtaken with a porous blackness. The voids through which she insinuated herself into comforts and enclosures are swollen with impregnable white solidity. All relationships at the cusp of day are inverted. The pale and wise glow slowly evacuates her mind. The void is not returning. The void has been present continually since the time she was the void, wholly. It lies beneath the palliative layers of her perceptions branded into her intangible history, trailing her continually. Her breath, exhausting the pressures and incursions of her own body and her city tosses a drape’d seal of death aloft and settles softly, a sheet falling over a corpse.
Flecks of paint gather beneath her nails. Seen through the ribbed thickness and mixed with oily dirt the small chips are pale and not characteristic of any memorable environment. They could bear no relationship to the series of opened apartments winding back amongst her drifts from the sea. They are stuck in her, foretold to float or sink but not to remain. Each door opens onto the same even paler passageway. The things you carry and collect grow quickly irrelevant. You continually attempt to ascribe to them an initial state born concurrent with your acquisition of them. Things do not have pasts, only the pasts they acquire by drifting through your undifferentiated life. Where did that start. You reinvest in them a more appropriate purpose and trajectory.
I put my cheek into the pit I burrowed with my finger and look across the sand. I see a face there. Her eyes were closed. Her hair fell across her mouth. I look across her now that she is there, some little bit to stop me and redirect me, but I see other things in place of her. It was far away. It wasn’t today. I was just now seeing it. It was tossed around the crystal grains of sand, reflected, and that if she looked at me she wasn’t looking at me but just looking. I looked back but I knew that she had already changed. She would be looking at something else, something closer. I had taken too long to get to this point. I ignored her because she was moving, sitting up to look at the ocean and spreading out her dress across the sand. She could fill up a day, doing things and going places, but she isn’t there.
These scrubby flowers pass beneath the cloud, touching and entering, never left behind. Each particle of this fine vapor, spherical orbs of water so immaterial that they retain the refracted content in an attempt to make a body and pass it off in the absence of their own. Leave home, take on the fashion of this context, don a cloak of blue flowers for each beadlet that floats toward the fluorescent moon. Walk the streets. Breathe, part the prow of the cloud into a pair of forked fingers gesturing toward double doors and clearing for a brief vista of the real rug. Tiny knotted squares trace out in all directions weaving together tendrils, swirls, fronts. With each breath, the flat tracery of the rug is lofted up to receive hue from the twilight through the will of the body.
A light appears across the stone. It disappears without having fled, and then reappears. With its presence she is present and all the days before are present and you focus on turning inside out, emptied, only excuses, breath, and distant throbbing. The light disappears. You wait. In its looming absence you shiver, pushing out a slight expansion of your profile in the soft sand. You feel for the light in the fall of your clothes over your body. You watch for dust on the low alcove ceiling to shift, a hair caught in damp to dislodge, a vacant cobweb to quiver beneath her mincing steps above sneaking to the window, the light switch. Your body, your vision, your drive are rigid and instrumental, unwavering, immaterial, and you are smothered when you slow into nothing but anticipation.
Enormous stucco cubes are so far away, so smooth. They are covered with faint flowing blotches of gloss. They are so large that it rains only on portions of them. They have no inside, no door, no window, no shelter or outcropping. Everything is shadowless in the rain across windworn asphalt. Nothing stands. Nothing for you in these moments until the city cycles further into the day and the buoyant mysteries you have no use for slide beneath the soft sand. That doesn’t mean anything. You inch partially beneath a cloth shelter that collects shopping carts. You watch the water still on the asphalt. Drops find different places to flow out of the open surface. Some slick streams swerve softly to sewers and cascade into darkness, together, or languish for a break in the clouds, or heavier rain.