The tide has rolled

The tide has rolled across the city. First, the finest dross penetrates the empty textures of fabric, stucco, cracked skin, and oil caked hair. Dry viscous dust, dead skin, bits of pink paper, breath hardened air jostling in a tired cascade wick deep into the cracks in your feet, the edges of your underclothes floating parched beneath your stockings, flooding across the hair in your nostril, and lining the wrinkles and folds worn into your still skin. Your breath is a finger fighting against beach sand. The dry chaff settles into chipped paint pits, the slots where sun dried wood has pulled away from plaster, and the uneven terrain of older dust not blown into the air by your fitful napping. Everything is smooth and terribly solved. You are blank and patched. The tide of objects tumbles into empty midnight hollows. Soft mailboxes, trashbins and dumpsters, pits and cups and storm drains to the sea fill with the collected aggregation of everything you forgot when you closed your eyes. It is scales and carbuncles in sleep. It is a burden on the walls and on your body. Empty picture frames and mugs, decorative tins and ornamental clocks, dusty candles, keys, jars of sand and dust, shelves pulled over and contents rolling in a grinding wave, islands of coloured glass and crystal, stainless steel objects, formless. Nothing fits you. It all covers you but there is room to see your skin and your dress, pulling away, smooth and giving against the angular mess. You breathe tentatively, conservatively. Empty apartments, closets, wardrobes, empty shops and broad glass windows float across the sea of objects, useless without them, merely heavy. You feel them only as a weight, growing, pressing the sharp tips of forks, fans, and frames into your ribs. With each breath they collapse further and fit your profile more precisely. You and they are perfect when you are crushed by waking.

Everything gets painted over, wet things, almost living things, painted over things. Ancient apartments disguise their owners in the uniformly coloured shapes that sink into the walls. They warp outward slightly. At some angles their shoulders and clothes leer colourless. She was painted into the apartment, an all beige night. She spent most of her time in the bathroom and slept there on the floor. When she slept the apartment sparkled in darkness. Domestic lights shimmered through the window and flourished on the imperfect glossy paint. Warmth smothers the place when you turn away, when you close your eyes to sleep. It comes in a fine spotty fire and pricks your skin all at once, all over your body. You awaken breathless, crushed, sweating, suddenly cold and in the bare light of the street. Glimmers of the wet city liquefy your closed eyes.

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