Flattened

Flattened by afternoon shade through the volume of the apartment your face alone is captured immaterially reflected in a small mirror. You cannot see the mirror or how far away it must be through the shade swelling within the open door. Your face, struck with long shadows and warm light, brass eyebrows and spun dim lashes, is peeled away from the sunlight sidewalk, you cannot touch your blank features, you will not attempt to. Your absent face has taken with it the late warmth of the sun whose radiance, from the end of each hair, begins to glow outward across the wall on which the mirror hangs, illuminating its simple frame. In a lethargic single wave the light flows outward from the face, swelling outward from the center of the mirror yet not expanding beyond its frame. As the simple moulding in the reflection at the floor and ceiling wash into view the moulding in the emerging passageway wavers into view, growing more clear from the point where I stand and more defined as it flows toward the mirror. The walls glisten colourlessly. The crest of the light drifts away from me standing on the sidewalk, not carrying vapour from my sweat, and lint from my hair, only washing toward my reflection, resting deep within the apartment. The light washes over a door on the left wall, the plaster around it has a moist sheen run through with long running beadlets, motionless. The finish on the floor is scuffed away, or the carpet is worn through. The floor is colourless, the light procedes, up slightly and across a white show, 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. 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. The light from the street fills the frame of the mirror. Completely back-lit, her face is obliterated in shadow. The coiled warmth of a filament in a lightbulb washes outward from the ceiling creating a rust-coloured circle on the cloor. Her dark round face in reflection is washed over with light as she steps back from the door. 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, not even a solid moment from you to be forgotten, 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 colourless plaster, glistening.



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