When the shadows take

When the shadows take over the night your tomb becomes airless. The shadows of all of these things you cannot resolve replace a solid world where light swells perpetually outward, holding the walls and the sky aloft and visible, away from where you cower. You can see them but they are blank. Not even the occupation of honest avoidance can bloom just before dawn. You cannot continue to face the blank wall or the blank patio, to find an object that buoys your descent or adopts the causes of your decay. Upon the ocean floor there is nothing to transfer your body into. You begin to panic. You have no mass and no extent and not context. You feel your hand reaching out before your eyes but it is not there, only the ambiguous white abyss of dawn. You cannot confront anything or flee. You cannot see when there is nothing to see. If it all went away, could you breathe. Currents of paler and paler emptiness, the colour of warm steam, settle into your eyes, each so distant a vapour that you cannot predict a more barren vacuum to fall into. Each shade further away pulls the breath closer and closer to your lips, divesting you into the unformed moments of the slowly waking day, the city invisibly chilled and slowed. With the breath rushes all of the night shivers and imprecations from your still sleep into a torrent of pasty foam and beige bile, through your throat which crushes shut behind it and slaking your lips and face, out across the sea floor and into your hair. It happens gently, with everything unseen loosing your numbness into the wet and tenuous essences of spume and tears. As you cough more your body gives nothing up but crunches smaller and smaller, folding in on itself. You cough when there is nothing left, in you or around you, a barely living reflex that keeps you made of body. When you leave the things and places that incorporated you, you leave. Everything slows in you. The egesta should float away into tendrils of invisible powder. Without your breath it should dry up. Without sun or lamplight it should not be. You lay with your cheek in it, your eye looking across it, something real and finally terminal. In the early morning when you have expelled your essence into sleep, your body feels the weight of dematerialization, divided humours, the abandonments of physical promises, into useless acuity.

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