Layers deeper

Layers deeper, through all of the apartments that painted away your memories with colours of paint, each time more inappropriate than the last when you find flecks beneath your fingernails at night, away from any apartments, the colours flake off and dust the night. The past is inevitable. Your past is not. The startling calm blue of sky over dull beige buildings, taupe, lemon, green sea grasses turning black through thick deep water, hot stucco red, and mauve are borne indirectly, transparent and luminous, from the surface of the rippling water. The colours tile your glistening open eyes. You are not waiting for shadows now; you are waiting for hands. Nothing moves, nothing moves forward. Across your eye the colours tile into different domestic lineages. Red before mauve, yellow over taupe, each ending in still white washing over both cold eyes.

Her eyes have been open so long. They fill with dust and are dry and flat. They are violet and transparent. The heavy pile of the bathmat shows through her pupils, through parted wet hair. Her dry eyes have only their own colour. The glittering old colours awash in all the dark places of the city pass them by into mosaic archways and damp timber passages. Little moonlit pools sparkle at the end of twisted alleys. She could never find them again unless they stopped before her, outside her window. The city turns around precious things and intimate places and makes them lost. Dry eyes do not sparkle. They watch. They haunt. Wide dry eyes watch without looking. They see shapes before the shadows and the bodies before their obliterations in mirrors and mirrors. Empty sight stops everything in its view, everything that passes into it or populates it, until it piles into the problem of an immemorial life. Your face, your hooked hands, your straight mouth, your hand on the collar of your smock, pinching it shut around your throat, your furtive pained footslides stop in her eyes and are preserved, mothballed.

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