Your breath rustles

Your breath rustles the blank tape as you crouch over the register. Shelves line the walls beginning behind you and running to the windows, six abreast, on brown metal standards. The slots in the standards train dust and hair, white earthenware fragments in fine drifts down the vertical line and the shelves are mostly empty. They bow upward between supports even where there is an item or object, unidentifiable. A list of items is on the counter beside the register. The list is meaningless under any banner and the cans and bottles speckling the walls are covered over with a gelatinous fatty brown ooze that drapes the labels or is clotted with powdered rust. Every room is empty or stopped. You stop in each. It is the curse of your footfall and of your eyes, stopped each morning on the sand when you have walked east all through the daylight and twilight. You make things, but not for commerce, and what would that be in a napping city. You make movement and you make trails that bind the pointless disparate cells of the day into action, continuous and seamless. The disconnects lie in the failures of the city and its failed and languishing bodies. Neither of which can move forward, or rise up to seal their pact with the day that they will race toward its return. You are continuous.

The tip of the register tape has reached the floor in your absence and on the other side of the counter you trace its edge with your hand until it reaches your toe. A purple imprint in foliate, soft type with a paleness comparable to the still air which has preserved it since you may have possessed any involvement with or affinity for its subject reachs: Scottish Foods. The sunlight dross wavering through the shorline tall grasses across a speckled lagoon riven by avenunes over sand, infertile and inhuman scalloped by her footsteps whose heel crest each casts a shadow over the rest of the print and bears a golden crown with red corona as the sun, through the blinds, or inland from them, she is left again in twilight and all detail escapes into the rinse of seawater and dusty air, neither of which is visible now yet both clog her dry nose. Twilight lays upon twilight in each cell of each late day cell in a bleaching wash to an evening that is pure grey. Should it come in her life let it fall in the sea whence she has marched around the globe. The trailing away of the sun across the vast skin of the ocean as she floats on her back leaving no stars but the slow tug of airless lungs and salt turning the eyes white. Some night seen through greyed out pupils. On her knees in an empty night mostly water the sea has contained the sun and a murky ribboned light rises back over the horizon in steam and scorched sea plants carried on the vapor as blackened powder. She coils the register tape around her palm and the back of her hand loosely several times, rising as she folds the supple paper. Her mind needs spacious emptiness of the rose grey nights in which the city evaporates or drowns. When there is nothing else can she be something with eyes open floating through corridors that turn and course at her choosing. Nothing else but a faint desire to stay awake can arise fromt he high tides of dusk. With strong will the world is awakened in accompaniment. Conversely the murk of sleep coats all. The body melts. The loosest gathering up of her skirts and stockings and squinted eyes can tread through the rising grey tides, with faint consciousness and rote steps she folds the paper from her hand into her breast pocket and steps backward from the window and the swollen twilight of moon and clouds from the mirror of the sea, repulsion.

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