The ice settles into the earth as the day drains away. Our breath erases the windows, as it rises it paints the night. Soft, coiling gray, feathering the skin of the sky. Our measure only the moments we linger, exhaust blending us with the atmosphere, our press and pull between self and the rest of the frozen world. Nothing owned, nothing lost, nothing more to say.
Cracked fingers and hot coffee, the idle waste of time of typing spreading these missteps into spark and cypher. The power of culture, allowing all these scraps and weavings, things we are and never can be, all our flaws and fables stitched into these external impressions of our passing. The ice broken upon the steel buckets of water out in the yard for the dogs, the tangle of dusk and streetlights skimming the flattened skyline of the schoolyard just past the fence. Faint notions and clipped awareness, scratched out in clay and ochre.
This time is not mine, nor was the last time. Tomorrow is as unlikely as any star, as tenuous as any fresh recipe in a clumsy kitchen. Errors compound, possibilities close and compound, evidence is left to refute every alibi. I cough steam, I clear my throat. I can feel the bitter blade pressed into my side, a seething stone kissing bone and kidney. I consider the unleavened truth, the certainty of rumor. There is no fear, no horror of another sorry ending. Steam and stars, the sparkling of unseen eyes. The only bitter that gorgeous alkaloid hint of coffee, the only beauty everything left.