When the apartment is empty

When the apartment is empty the light rises differently to fill in the positions vacated by all of the old things that had cast their shadows across the wall. The edges of the room disappear in broad scallops leaving the green carpet meeting the painted wall stretching in glossy bone to the flat ceiling and the light flickers. It isnt a gross binarism that leaves me intermittently in full dark but a roving brown out with black characters jogging against the dust to be read in this cultivated dusk. I look for things in the still emptiness of the lit wall. Vision doesnt arise of its own accord. The things I see I stop entrusting to happenstance. Those accidents of sight belong to a sequence of moments that I cant tap into but is forever running astride what I convince myself to see. I will see for a moment a face trapped in the shimmer of sunlight on glass, or the veins of a hand on a door jamb laced into the shadow of a breeze frayed palm frond, or skin through parted hair in the flow of storm water through a grate. When I tell myself what they are they are gone. The light passes, the water slows, things change. In that tract of actions I fit into only a slender strip that rarely occurs. The rest is nothing more than anticipation. It can be trimmed away. I trim it away with shade, curtains, my palms, black bracketing thoughts that hold more end than beginning, but they all surround the light on the wall and then are all lost in it, pulled behind me as I turn inside out to see it all at once. It is all filled with handwritten names, handwritten places and dedications, addressing a world that doesnt really need to exist when I am here where I am, in anything other than name. It is finite. It can be out of order, or it can all happen at once, it may not end, but it is all there, hemmed in from the sunlight and the warm necks that swell beyond each real name. The names wont change. They will just fade, or get painted over. Naming them makes them safe. It discards the thing which might have borne it into my day. Those people and places I have stayed in an envelope under a name are nothing but the word, and it means everything. In each place, each nameless thing is everything I want or remember. Let it stay there.

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