You lay

You lay in the dim yet not in concealment. All traces lead to you and they will be traced. The only hiding is movement. In the night the city empties and the tethers drape back over the horizon leaving the stolen moments of the day bobbing or sinking into the sea to come at you again from the opposite horizon at dawn. This is a windowless room, the door ajar and nothing but a disembodied light floating beyond view. There is nothing in the dark night but what this little hollow has captured. You lay wedged in place on the floor. In the empty night the space you fill is endless. You cannot move because in the emptiness there is nowhere you are not. The world is snuffed out. You are only where you are because she sees you there.

She is just beyond the ajar door, behind the chink in the blinds. She pulls it shut and withdraws the spear of plain light, the probing scrutiny that condemns your face flattened in a black puddle, your socks thorny with dried sweat and salt, your dress filled with memos from other days, your hesitant sleep in the thin dirty sand. Fallen here in this small cove your decisions are inevitabilities, consequences. You have offered your body to them long ago. That the spears of light, the eye, the fiery haze, the heavy copper salts returning to the sea through your burning nose will roll back across your empty body is inevitable. The persistence of these plagues grows rote, wearing slowly, an intangible erosion at the edges of you, where you stop and the air starts, until even that distinction is filled with the shiver of her scrutiny or the nag of the dripping storm waters. They hit the back of your neck and wend beneath your bound collar. It is not their inevitability, but their inconsistency that keeps you from finding sleep in the fresh dark. You dissolve, you wait, you are smothered.

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