Nothing was clean in the way washing makes something respectable.
A twist of my hair hangs above my bed, swaying occasionally even though silence tightly sealed the room.
There were reports the next day of a woman found seated in an un-furnished room; a shoe made of crocodile leather swinging from her toe. I saw myself rake her thigh with my nails and feel her shoulder for strength. I lift her hair; it will carry on growing. A man was on the floor beside her, a vein cut, he died looking up at her. Ribbons of each other's flesh ringed round their hands. He is fading, used up the last vein. He and she. I. What I can see has folds, is emptying. Under my fingernails and the rims of my eyes swell.
From inside my room feels a completely different shape to the space it must fit into a house. From outside square set right angles, impossibly correct perspective calculated for the reassurance of glass eyes. Draw using a straight edge never chance the hand. Fight it. Even if that means metalwork hands raised to heaven; I am between and my fingers between metal fingers, my palm to metal palm. This will hurt me more. Engine oil is the sanitized way they will describe what a woman left on the machinery when they found her inside a room furnished like the inside of a human body, but she’d already gone out.
Some things need to be culled.
Let me describe the metal – pewter with the discipline of iron dark in the creases, faultless, unbreakable; welded above the elbows to the arms of my chair. All we do is hold hands.
There’s a trickly brown saccharine trail to a book on a chair in the un-furnished room for mourners to queue and sign. Look I don’t want sympathy. I wanted it. I knew what I was doing. I knew what would happen. At least he gave everything so I would never want more. I gave and he gave and I gave until he decided the end and the end was also for him. But you just cut flowers so beauty dies by slow starvation.
Cinnamon vapour lives there now.
Did you see how that insect behaved? He looked at me like an equal, rectangle, bronze, small fast wings barely attached; and the sound is it the air replacing his wings or? Then his attention was on something I couldn’t see. And the rats more rats, working, preparing, there are more looking straight at me and something beyond. They have work to do. Don’t try and tell me nothing’s happening.
A youth sits on the steps of the criminal defence lawyer’s office, his head in his hands. His girl standing, watching. She walks away down a side street. His hands drop, I don’t know what he sees.
A leaf stack shivers. It’s talling. In every gap between brickwork, it’s only brickwork, a leaf stack always could drop. Shivering. Talling. Every gap the same leaf stack. Loud shivering. Falling leaves are normal. Louder. This is normal. Leaf stack. It’s normal. Everywhere. Shivering. Louder falling. Leaf stack. The same. Normal. Shivering. Leaf stack.
Maybe it got dark.
Just as light changes for a second by doorways my room feels like someone’s here before me. A very slight heat as if from breath raises every surface and falls in the way of a heart. My lock of hair has grown down to the bed now parting into limbs still growing then twine desperate as life or death. It slows languid and the hair has taken the form of a man and woman. Tension and relaxation as the strands spread over the spectral figures overlapping and stretching until my bed is a rippling sea of hair. Sighing quickens as the movements shallow into smoothness which contracts into the shape of a man and woman again. They lie still as two ropes of hair grow then coil round my wrists. They pull me down between them.