The walls spanning

The walls spanning out on her sides, mirrored be seas balmy flat and those that rise to be mirrors splitting the sky reflect articulately straight into a point. Walls close down upon the horizon placing you in their disorienting circuitous maze. The streets and the paths may be straight or convoluted, chambered, but they do not encumber her movement, distinctions about geometry are the musings of the lost. She merely continues. The walls, assuming the ambiguity of dusk, are liquid and featureless. They form a second horizon, a shade brighter, beneath the sky.

Her reflections carry the streets, narrow high-walled slits opened into the spaces between buildings, where buildings fear to press shivering close but breathing against one another. The narrow streets trail her heels after the unfurling canvas threads and frayed rubber strips, reflecting one after another blinking together into the mightily still wash of silt on which you stand with boundless freedom, yet sinking. All points from which walls turn away, eventually, flow on in the moments at your desk, at the moments just at bleak predusk, your eyes and feet fill the continuous outdoors. You are walking at the edge of the wide boulevard at dusk. For you the clouds are still. There are no clouds, more reflections of beige streaked across the sky and to the horizon where it meets the floor, dissolved in dim. The undifferentiated street environment slows around you. You seek to move through it and further from the desk, toward open doors or ajar doors.

A slight pale unfurling breaks the endless continuity of the street where glass covered in fog and damp stucco whose colour is deeper in the damp than in the shade it casts upon itself where the cross chop of the breeze upon the lagoon has risen up with imperfections, hand marks and the wakes that fingernails leave in sweaty dust. The movement of the slight billowing pale brocade, distant and oblique, twists the street upon itself with the eruption of softened reflections. The street billows in the breeze that arises. The breeze arises. It is perceptible on the hairs that trace down from your knuckles. Your eyelashes shake and your eyes vibrate with the movement. It is all more pale than damp stucco, softer than the reflections this tableau contains.

Atop the street where the asphalt is crowned by a tiny wavering segment of horizon, black forms rise into a continuous butte in the shadow of the earth. At its crest a veil cloudlet trails in the breeze, stationary but horizontal and slumped. Everything is weak. The tip of the cloudlet curls upon itself into a roll and coils back across the horizon and the black emergence of dusk, all beginning to reflect and replace the beige straightness with hollows and elusive night shades. The night butte flows upward. It flows slowly and the skin on your fingers begins to turn a chapped red where the red sea washes conversely over the sky behind your shoulders.

How many evenings does that redness on your shoulders carry? You claim them all when their waters, which have washed through and down from the first floor apartments, which have been in grey shade for hours already, loop around your ankles in smooth caressing shackles. The dusk brings the liquid bonds of freedom that tether you always across the horizon to the next sunrise, back behind glass. If it is dark and all of the flakes, turned down edges, steeped pages, drifts in corners behind things that do not move, things that do not move, the frayed plastic tips of shoelaces touching gingerly and unwavering against a tile floor, but the shoes were taken off and washed too by the creeping dusk not to exist, or swept along with you.

In the fog on an auto windscreen your shoulders and head arise ringed with blessing red skies. The windows, fogged from within by the slender breath of night, diffuse all they reveal. Her disintegrated features are there opposite your eyes and it must be that face with the kisses of mint tea, with grout impressions on the cheek, with stale eyes looking toward some horizon, the curb of a bathtub, the night meeting a glossy horizon. Like that face, this face, a glass slide slivered into a cloud and captured this face, is forever turning away into the direction where night arises or is. Your eyes and hers timidly want to look back toward the red sea sky where the promise of more daylit footfalls and progress trail out in a sunlight waterfall over stone steps and other horizons, and her face, that face, as you step backward to the door, is washed over in the shadow of her own dark cell, red darkness floods the windshield, cloud, and street. It is still day she stands in, at the cusp of the street edge and the precipice of dusk. She closes her eyes quickly looking west with tiny suns in her eyes. Night inside is no different than dusty day without a memory of the sun.

You back into spaces. With your eyes now closed and the flash of the sun in your eyelids you are not able to use the compound reflections that you face on the windscreens, windows, water following you and capturing you to back through the ajar door. You back into a brick wall. The bricks are warm in the napping dormancy of your inert world. To sleep in the sun is surrender. The grout is damp and leaves a familiar residue on your fingers as you rake across the wall with your heels and shoulderblades. You are narrow. You feel against the wall your slenderness in the world with which you flow between things or become them, assuming their texture and skin. Against the wall you do not cast a shadow. With your fingertips hooked over the vertical joints in the brick, which align vertically up the walls, you pull yourself slowly to the east accelerating the dusk. You tap the back of your head against the wall rhythmically and lean back in order to force open a door should you come upon it. Your hand instead discovers it sliding palm flat against the surface no longer brick and pushes out a wake of paint flakes adrift on the smooth forgiving wood of the door. The flakes, breaking off in acute fragments, harsh to your touch, lodge their points beneath your fingernails. You continue to slide and push. Your hand and elbow press beyond a faint axis whereby the door falls inward and around your left shoulder on the brick jamb you fall with it, backward still, shuffling your feet heel-first into a stale room steeped of afternoon disuse.

When dusk light, falling with powerless crispness through deep metal blinds, washes in decayed lines on wood panel, whose grain and joints show no signs of sea damaged silver but of the yellowing that accompanies aged plastic outdoor signs, the entire space, circuitous and dead behind closed doors full of mystery and colour, is only that spot of false wood, limp in light, that your eyes first open upon. When was this? You see nothing else unless filtered through that stale moment.

The skin on the back of your hand in this shade is tobacco yellowed. Caked runnels of fine silt run from the cuff of your sleeve, dried quickly but with a well worn matte surface that diffuses light without any crystalline properties. The hairs on your wrist stand proud through the silt. The flesh that holds your fingernails is thick and deep yellow riven with cracks that run up to your first knuckles. You set your palm on your knee and faded pale red felt. You felt the discomfort before opening your eyes. You felt the dust on the sweat beneath your collar, creeping beneath your shoulderblades and the dust drying your lips and slowing your breath as it turned to silt in your lungs. You fall to be seated in a dry, lit tomb. You kept your eyes closed a moment longer. A long while seeing nothing of what you had fallen into, or where you found yourself when you opened your eyes, another immediacy without transition. Why do you close your eyes in between? This city is filled with single rooms, none of which open onto one another. Another room, perhaps the same as before, with the trickles of fat discolouring portions of the wall, now thoroughly clotted with fine hairs and dust where it had been still running yet slightly gummy liquid in the early afternoon sunlight warmed room.



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