Night is too accusatory

Night is too accusatory. Have you done something. The cropped fashion of the lights as they fall and fall off on empty spots forecast ill history. A streetlamp fell on a patch of concrete in front of the apartment building, tall reeds yellow aflame parry frozen at the edges of illumination. A tree trunk stands at the opposite side more in shadow. The focus of the lamp is empty. Something belonged there or was forgotten there. She leans against the tree with her hands above her head looped behind the thin trunk. Her eyes are closed. She faces the apartment window facing the street. That would fill the cone of light, or, occuring in the overcast grey-out of that afternoon, would fill the spot for you in the night, when it is empty. Could you turn it off. The streetlamp blazed emptily, continuously. The light vibrated. The air within it, roiling with haze, was a mistake. You stood there. The patch becomes more empty without you in it. Night is trouble. The darkness locates accidental transgressions and lapsed indiscretions, yet only in part. You made a mistake. You disappeared. You are slowly disappearing. You dilute into the stage sets you have fled and the gentle disruptions your hollow body had sifted into still afternoon air where you trespassed. Full deep night is brighter than wide open day. Night is needles.

Foam clots and smears diminish out from your cheek across the glossy tile. Next to your mouth the strong elastic bubbles lean out from your breath. The profiles of tall scallops are beige. You are breathing sour steam. You cough out wet breath from your throat throwing bits of foam toward the wall of the bathtub. The water runs from the faucet into the tub throwing sheets of steam up across the tile. The window above the tub is dark. It is bricked over. The foam has dried around your face situating you particularly on the floor, away from the faucet and bathtub and water. Your hands are dry. Why are you not moving now. Had she started the water running in the bathtub. Parts of you are strewn around the floor. Your stocking feet are off toward the wall of the bathtub stacked atop each other. Your dress is let out around you in an irregular cloth pool. Folds of floral fabric breach the foam and stretches of it are powdery white where all the bubbles have burst. You are paralysed. Your eyes are fixed on the rim of the bathtub. Do not look away. The edge is wide and unobstructed. It curves toward you in the periphery, encircling you, drawing you in. On the tile wall opposite the rim of the bathtub fluorescent reflections of lapping water flow. The glimmering nets of water reflect on the chrome faucet, green and sickly luminous. You are paralysed. You are watching the reflection of the water lace across the metal. Milk green silty clouds sweep a wake around two paste white feet; they rise and fall breaking the surface and sinking into the cloudy water.

You watch the edge of the bathtub. She is floating in the water. Her lips would be pursed and wide. You see her feet in the reflection. You cannot see her. Everything floating is in pieces. They collect together when a wave or current passes through, when cold fresh water floods deep through the tepid brackish fluids sending up currents that throw them all apart again. Nothing adrift coheres. You let your gaze stream out across your body, seeing bits at once, bits moving slowly, your dresses draped over a collection of marooned curiosities your dresses wash across. As your knees move, atop one another, sliding back over the other, your dresses ripple. Beneath the fabric are hands, legs, knees, pits, napes, hollows, splits, thighs, clefts, furrows. How do you put them together. The spasms of each day, the footsteps and missteps, throw them further off. Let them drift apart. Let them sink.

The solidness, the exactitude of night and day, washed away. The corporeal landscape, the thorny terrain of pain and cause, made of captured silt and dry dust, retires to a colourless and transparent, shadowless and detached distance, and you are loosed from it into the obscure airless stratum between the clouds and the reflective sea glimmering. Their lights pass through you, an emptiness wrapped in cloth, and you are broken apart by moments of sleep. There is stillness when you are gone. In all of the days bound together, a monstrous plot, dawn is the interruption that drops you somewhere new. You must watch for the instant of absolution in the cresting sun to recalibrate the machine. You are ruined, exhausted. The bloodless choke of the city lights stays your fearful threads back back into the day before, just before. The shivers of tall reeds, the paces of her feet beat knotty patterns through the night, into death heavy involution; they are gone. You waste the peaceful awakening by sleeping a moment. Shortly before the sun falls over the city the long shape of a lit window slices across the pool deck.



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