The city

The city is made of finite quantities, and beyond them, there is nothing. The streets end, the apartments grow scattered and interspersed with low cypress shrubs, dry dusty patches, and further out, traveling on high blue breezes, reedy estuaries swirl out to where nothing can happen. You feel them there, not because you have seen them, or because you want them to be there, but because of the emptiness where your body stops, and they are not here. There is only a bit of light in the city. Your arms and ankles and your fingers glow a cold white. The spaces around them are dim, walls, tree bark, thin fabric over thin worn fabric, lightless alcoves to splintering dry doors, dry empty air. They are not in shade. They barely are at all. They are diurnal approximations. Where will you be when the light leaves you. What will you find you have sunken into or floated away from. What have you caused. What have you added up. What have you counted and indicated. What have you discovered and unburdened yourself of. Does it survive you. How many days will a footprint in dust be legible. Does a handprint in condensation outlast the dawn, at least to sunrise. Does the swell of light rising over peeling walls and cracked sidewalks take the light from your skin when there is none left. When you are the emptiness, does the lack of scrutiny decompose your body. You lose your edges. You become gauzy. When all that you had left behind becomes visible it takes your shape and adds to it and you find yourself over a hill, in a sewer to the sea, holed up, lost in a mirror, already at a desk, gone. There is only a bit of light in the city. When the sun crests the rooftops the walls and the windows turn black.

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