Eyes open and just some voices

Eyes open and just some voices somewhere in the atrium. Across the scabby earth crust a soft fading of voices can be sensed by those of us who could have once heard them still in a locked room, beneath even the folding sound of cloth. Whether the bodies faded with the voices or the songs of their organs were hackneyed into fatuity I wasn’t able to judge. Those who died in the hotel left a likeness of their silence, or at least an intractable gasp of the earthly air stuck in their lungs that I couldn’t cease tasting in my throat. But those who merely disappeared, whose voices I simply forgot, and can’t reasonably think they had ever existed as the erstwhile peopling of the hotel, prevented my recognizing any ebb in the nation’s population. When the same face began to appear regularly, independent of the necropolis of faces yet within it, and then ceased to return, the panic all at once of the lives felled by the inexorable present claimed me as well.

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