Inside her the distance of the sky, against the inside of her eyelid, glimmers and fingers fray through blinds a terminal afternoon orange intruding in clouds of breath, in hands raised to hold out the first signs of dusk held at a virginal distance from the liberated airs of mind without body. The wise nothingness of that white home remains a receptacle for her, held out inside her closed eyes to receive her days longing for sleep projected behind it, from further in her head where shimmering gray desires are domesticated. Sleep on a makeshift sensory pallet and settle fog about the eye. In that white shape she strains to project a body that might take shape through ajar doors and stretch its limbs into a clean corner where rugs lay upon dry floors meeting board and batten walls.
Look away into the yard or alcove, you briefly stall but dont stop. The tide has set you down on a stone stair reaching into the canal. The tide again rises, never high enough to deposit you across the dead lawn without tracks, spare your tattered treads. Your closed eyes awake there, gently lain on the bristly yet yielding reeds rising up around you, washes of dust fall across your clothes, silt around your flesh dries in the sun mummifying you into stillness, a place to lay down, where the stalks lay flat, pale brown, pale blue flowers dappled amongst the grass on an empty dress, a place to lie flat, the afternoon sun bestows upon the grass and upon your still body a regenerative rot that leaves the body but sweeps away the impulses, the person, release from networks of quarantined canals.
I lay my cheek into the thick brown sand. It doesnt cascade but crumbles in miniature. The sun is gray and low for midmorning, over a pink block of apartments. A band of shapely black clouds strikes a fine faint line of sky between its belly and the sea horizon. I never made that first choice from which everything would flow. In old old recollections I see a similar sky. I couldnt work out what day would have put me under it; those skies are so infrequent here, real skies. They are unending because they end, and I can capture them, from end to end. I can see their ends and that makes them something lingering. It is not everyones white sky with everyone under it. The tails of the black clouds taper north and south up the beach and curl further inland while they diminish, enfolding the coast.
The body, and the bodies, build a sweaty internal coherence that retroactively gives form and purpose to the mechanism they are found in. The thighs stand fully erect, full close, propping the hips which slope down 30º below level, upon whose highest point the bicep and the forearm lean, drawn convergent upon the elbow. The underside of the inverted V of the arm is mirrored in the tops of the press’d together hips on which it leans, forming a sag-skinned, diamond-shaped void. First station, third body. The reconciliation of the mechanism with its form and purpose through misapplied external associations is only pertinent within the body, where it is needed; external to the body, explanations about diamonds wander away, entrusted to the vapors on voyeurs breath.
You cast an extra shadow that reaches down byways and twists around corners, carrying silent charges about your character, your facelessness, and when it settles, in a vast empty parking lot surrounded by the back bedroom windows of all the night apartments, its shivering perimeter rattles in exaggerated panic. She closes one eye and defocuses the other through the eye hole where the cord of her window blinds passes through a slat, sees your shadow, steps back from the blinds, her silhouette diffuses into lightness. You ran your hands through your hair and touched her cold window glass. From her window she can see into every pore, across tiny craters of sand far above the tide line, through the consequences, back to a beleaguered, alert, and unprotected moment.
The days are reflections. You cant place yourself in any of them. Each is more populated than the last with the things you have forgotten. Each reflects each until you no longer appear in them at all. Looking into the oncoming days you face the consistent loss of you. Still lives from a world of sunlight and sunlight filled clouds fill in your shape. You dont use the cues. They are within or behind you. You have had them make you. If the sky is there, you are there. If the sand is there, you are there. The streets are too long for one day. The heat rising off of the horizon reflects the sunset or the days old sunrise far down the road. Everything focuses into a single body, enormous, yet immaterial, happening all at once in an equilibrium that renders itself and its contents insignificant.
Wrinkles fan out geometrically from her clenched eyelids. She pressures objects, thighs, vases, folded napkins to assume her shape and place, instead of following her; her form looks foreign. She fills her absent body with stock domesticity: aprons bound by cords, large metal handled spoons, a transplanted round stone holds open a fence gate. She turns her hands over to face her palms upward and presses the tips of both thumbs between the knuckles of her pointing fingers. She presses the knuckle of each pointing finger into her closed corresponding eyes. Her eyeballs cave against the pressure. The apartment block silhouette inverted to black remains, empty, calling back to white, awaiting the hopes of the regenerated creature. Citrine spots wash the white apartments of her eyes.
Her shoes are caked with dried layers of fine mud, you cannot walk it off, it comes from walking, when the soles erode the rind of filth thickens, kick your foot against the splintered wood pole, she kicks her foot out, kick beside the pole, scrape your shoe, each shoe, mud binds the shoe to her worn sock, all you have collected, all that coats you is dried by sea breezes into viscous powder. She is kicking and shuffling her shoe against the wood pole in a fine cloud of dust, carrying away the roads, slept-in puddles, sun off of the facets of the sea carried in a mosaic of sand grains, the dead thicket, the grass threads through the entire length of fence wavering with the lapping current of her foot shuffles. Her steps in endless repetition walk the days into the ocean, sinking, behind her back.
I dont dream. When I realize that I am dreaming I am awake, my hands flutter over the metal desk. They disappear in their movements and detach themselves bloodlessly from my body. They continue to sort and file but they are gone. I see the tips of my sleeves limply still and a foggy blue stain in the air that doesnt float away. That is there. When I dream in my bed I am sitting up, my back against the wall under the window. I clutch my wrist because I think it is someone elses. I hold it to be sure it doesnt leave. The shadow of a date palm fans a rectangle of light on the blank wall. I focus on whether I am feeling the contact in my hand, which is touching, or my wrist, which is being touched. My skin is always prickled by the onset of fever or by the warmth of someone watching me.
Held between, or within movements, delineation of the diamond capturing the void of the inchoate third body, enters the second station, and the void sags into a flat downward pointing chevron. The two arm muscle groups between the thighs parted by the calf, and, more integral to the character of the movement, the hips, loosely forming the vertices of the void, incomplete only by the thickness of the damp night air. The forearm and bicep span emptily, only momentarily, before the chevron is rushed by all manners of fingers, heels, apples, and blades. It is not possible for a body to stand, be defined, assured, and differentiated when clad with the company of so many scrambling bodies; yet, a body, even populated to distraction, is always being scrutinized.
You know the judging eyes, they shred you. You need not see them precisely quivering to maintain focus on you or your shadows or your wake of errors and failures and misperceptions. You see the eyes blankly cast into the dark rooms of afternoon, and still into dusk and when the city lights awaken all about they are glazed in fluorescent glimmers, dry and unblinking, fully white. In all the days all the open eyes ceaselessly scour your footsteps and peripatetic dreams. In the dark you need not see the eyes to know that they loom. They assess all facets of your descent and departure, your progress, your productivity, your worth and contribution, your shape, the questions and the motivations, your growth, your erasure, your punctuality, your collections, your deposits and throwaways.
If all of the light, and all of the events, and all of the hopes of the days and days return to you, and to everything else, you are relieved of the burden of causing anything. They will come again and again. If they changed you would change with them to be just what you are in them now, on their breeze you drift. You have no more future responsibility than all that has played out behind you, and that is all gone. It only exists in the glimmers of a damp eye where the receding tide flashes in reflection. You see the bits of the day stippling into your eyes in a luminous sandstorm, your hands form claws in the sand and you let your hair fall across your face across the white sun. You are a full vessel, sinking, you cant receive anything else but a coat of paint. You are waiting. I am seeing it.