Layered Existence

Wraith-white, milk-white, rind that wrapped everything close in this village shaped like a woman’s breast. Even the horses looked wrought in old silver, grazing on ghost-like plains. Outside in the street, assortment of shoes paired in a grey procession: leather brogues, brocaded slippers, clogs hewn from the flanks of fallen boughs, babies’ booties. The line they made stretched from the capitol and ended at the riverbank. I heard the earnest sound of their progress on the cobblestones, their chafing arguments. I was told to go outside and just observe. I was told there was no interest in arriving at epiphany. I was told to dwell only in idea, eschew any tendency to uncover such things as inherent properties. The sky was filled with voluptuous forms— Clouds hung in clusters, as though butter-heavy. A sign on the underpass said: Do Not Sift. Two women sat in a room, solemnly sniffing each other’s armpits. Cats circled the terrace then sleeked their glistening fur. I wanted badly to find a store where I could buy a box of matches, a beautiful silk tie, sushi grass that smelled and tasted like cilantro; a metal cup in which to cool the water I never drink enough of.

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