Inhale a voice

Inhale a voice muffled not sharp enough to form words. Spirits deep beneath a grave or people in next-door rooms don’t speak in words, they speak in masses like tides invisible but creeping and irrefutable because the ocean is so black and silent without them. I would have screamed but I do this job alone. I threw the doors back open. Although a voice with no face floats through my mind and eyes without wake, and I couldn’t articulate something in this way if I could stay it, I knew the voice came from behind the furniture. The wood grain in a low desk quivered with its vibrations. I reached the front edge of the bathroom door jamb about six feet into the room. The dislodged furniture now formed complete barricades on either side of the door in the ambulatory. Only a running dive tumble over the guardrail absolves me of putting all the furniture back in place. Right now is the time for a choice. To excavate the bathroom door will fill the niche in front of the doors. The voice from the furniture has grown clearer. I don’t recall which side of the bathroom doors opens. If the voice is coming from the bathroom and the handle is on this side of the door I only have to move a few pieces of furniture. A circular writing table on a metal pedestal, a bale of cushions, and two luggage racks and there is the silver handle. It swings in and through the slot of space between the sculpture and the door jamb the full mirror reflects obliquely back to the shower curtain, bulged out, the mass slumped over the curb of the tub I think is moving but the voice is still lost and sexless. The sink is filled black and slick but the room is dark, it is probably water. It smells like soap. The lightswitch is over the counter not on my side of the jamb; I can’t reach it.

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