The outside walls papered in seals of death beneath this tiny night between sunset and the streetlamp light, so buildings can sleep. The freedom from unfetter’d emissaries of the city and its diurnal machinations leaves her startled and aware of her minimal extents. In darkness, without continuity to the car, the road, the lawns, she feels the lines that collect her ends from those easily forgettable outliers. She reclaims distant parts of her that drifted away; they lay their slumbering facades bare to her scrutiny. The night plaited its voiding capes, containing her transient self-consciousness. They conceal her secret wholeness within their chambers. She steps off the road, almost fully erased from the continuity of the city, and meanders from its slumbering grid.
Stiff reeds weigh against a rusty diamondshaped chainlink fence in conditions which would only have been possible had the fence been placed long after the grass had stopped growing, involuntarily following the sun, living, to prop it out of the sidewalk and preserve it in the plat of this particular apartment building. In the reeds halfway into the lot lay arid flotsam, a tea bag, steeped, then pressed out with a thumb and dried in the form of a pillow recently vacated, a gray plastic spoon with a white oval in its shallow vessel around which a turbid lavender corona skirts, fragments of paper, circulars, napkin, the frothy filter of a cigarette amongst the short reeds that would blow in the breeze, a folded sheet of red paper, softened at its creases and stained with liquid tannic blooms.
My room is empty in the sunlight. Empty rooms distribute bits of bodies to balance the vacuum, prescribing each scrap to its place while waiting to receive a character. I went to the room in afternoon, long sunlight clouding the air, and was torn to pieces. So I come in late, after the streetlamps set and leave before I wake up. Today I am awake in the room; the morning draws on. Something will happen. I want to sit at the kitchen table, watch the sidewalk through the tall window, or force sleep, avoid controlling my consciousness. I want to make one choice and let it flow out. I want to make myself fall into the sand and let the wind blown dunes transport me where they might. If I choose to stare the world happens to my eyes. At my desk I look into a fluorescent light and it is days later.
First station, second body. The abdomen, propped on a mess of limbs and pinned by another mess, slopes downward at 30º above level to the buttocks, wherefrom the hips rise back symmetrically at 30º above level to rest atop the thighs of the first body, press’d tight together. Stations of the machine, although diverging infinitesimally from these minute graphite characterizations toward states with names over time, are identified by the positions of the two thighs in relation to one another, full close, and the inclination of the hips above level, 30º. All actions pass haunting beneath the integument. Fragments of bodies cannot move without a plan, a fragmented suite of intermediate stations to conspire into a possible range of motion and enlist a cast of key functionaries.
Everything floats and sinks in unison, a tidal city riding the tides. Tepid water seeps in beneath the legs of kitchen tables, beneath mugs on kitchen tables, beneath your kneeling knees, the soles of your feet, lifting you and they all away from the surface of home together and some time setting it all back down, the entire city sinking back into the wet sand gently but deeply and slightly rearranged. Where you were in relation to the things around you is the same. Things do not just move. Some thing disappeared. An empty print remains in the dust. You are implicated. Beyond the doorways, outside and inside, around gated corners, all may change. The effects you fear that you have caused are played out all together, all around, and always, but not by you. You are part of them.
You dont need to be brought along or situated. You dont need a back story. It would be the same, reduced or obscured, flooded with flood water or wasted by blown sand, just floating. You must be the only one but you arent. You wait to be seen. Real things need corroboration. Real things have shadows and aspirations. Nothing has happened. Each start surfaces with everything ahead of it, each blink an endless coastline from the sea. You dont need to put anything together. You couldnt. You dont know if you are even visible. You see your hands loosely clawed into the sand. Shapes with edges happen outside of you. Where they meet your skin they part and flow around you then coalesce while they disappear leaving a film, vacant on both sides.
Lawn and road retain silvery cloaks, the sky is swollen with livid haze, the lawns and road draw accents of purple into their grain. In a night with its own emerging luminance, the body of the city inverts to be darkened and absent. The evacuated chambers empty and overlooked in day combine into solid black against a purple sky, a void with the silhouette of an apartment block. It displays wasted gifts of erasure with an iconic pronunciation that would seem proud if it were an object that existed. Back there in the false night shadows hang deceptively ‘fore conspirators in warm lit apartments. Wavering capes chain’d at the horizon splay’d and torn tentatively conceal immemorial infant darkness. In the impoverished unbeing of shapeless form buildings are erased into existence.
Tender, parasitic yellow flowers bloom without greenery, living off of the decay, dried sap within the brown husks of grass. She stood fenced from the cast away tea party, drawn to the apartment windows beyond fence and thicket by the absence of a cup, and fingers around its thick handle, another hand flat on the grass with a stiff arm on which she leans back into the grass, finishes the mint tea which has slowly turned purple in the bottom of the cup, and rests down onto her side and elbow beneath the sunflowers. She removes a scrap of paper from her blouse, looks down her legs and feet in the sun. The smell of salt low in the still air wavers with the motions of the brackish water, nearby, to the west, just through the reeds, where it laps gently into footprints worn into a sandy stone step.
It isnt the empty room that pulls me to pieces. It is the mocking potential that any room has to strip back down to its paint and forget me. Every freshly painted hollowed out spot could appear in any memory, any desire. It has to. Each shade away from my skin fits even less than the last, from my underclothes sharing indescribable straight curves, out to each layer of fabric more and more victims of the desert breeze, out from the rooms where shadows degrade me and hard corners push back my fingertips from ever falling completely into their vertices, I can only shape the dust. At least in the room I have extents. In the cone of light that describes my desk at night after the fluorescent grid has set I know where I am and where I am not, where I end.
When the thighs flutter into a state of cleavage, full splay, the hips descend about the axis of the buttocks, sliding down the inside surfaces of the thighs, 5º, toward the intruding calf. Second station, the second body a body affected purely by its received lot. Any consistency of performance it purports to have is passed on to it, inherited nominally through action, but is a reaction. The system of names and numeral designations through which actions take precedence over the actions of other things are the judgments of chance. There is no secure way to categorize the existence of the machine. The bequest of an ur-station to the machine is foreign, strange. All actions and capabilities, all states in which actions have and will occur are concurrent with each aseitic moment of the machine.
The flowing world fritters back and forth, in and out of rented doors and ceaselessly up and down endless streets. You lie still bracing your eyes to reassemble the junked moments of the day, to place the trinkets and potions dragging behind and jostling in the great moonlit pool together in sequence, you held the mug and let it cool on the table, you crawled beneath the table, on steps that had led down to a mooring, or in the reedy banks in unkempt corners, floating away leaving you with no token object to remember through, to be through. You are left without reprieve, distraction, acquittal, or escape. Every still moment is aggravated by a lost opposing moment filled with perlustration, distant shaking, betrayal, empty investment, and by its inevitable return.
You are a blot without origin. You are contingent. Let each block, each plat, packed to the frame with shivering shapes, go away when you pass into it, let it be merely a moment in supersessive series, one after another until you have forgotten enough to be someone. Who will you be. Nothing inside you will be changed. How will you be seen. Will you be seen in the sun first hesitantly touching your skin. Will you be that same woman from another day. Which humor will comprise your debut. Dont expect more than the rootless dust, the unidentifiable vapor, the overflowing arroyo, or any vantage that will give them form. What will you see first. It nods suspended in your eyes casting pins of shadow out of the white sky, from the white shape of a face and of hands.