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this hemisphere

What does it mean to live a life? What does it mean to exist in this moment? And this one? And this one? A moment is when I reduce my existence to a single breath. Not even thinking a thought, other than "I am breathing." In this moment I inhale. It's likely that sometime in the very near future I will exhale. Think about nothing other than a focus on the sound of fluids moving in my body. Fluids readjust in my stomach. There is heat in my windpipe. I part my lips and they make a sound like velcro ripping. That is an illusion. Our bodies are amplification chambers. Clamp your teeth together and hum. See what I mean? Amplification chamber. Yeah. The worst are the thoughts that get amplified. Or enlarged. Like a second skeleton growing inside you and fighting to take over the body. Or eat its way out. Drag you places you never wanted to go. These abstract parasites that inhabit you without paying rent. Or does emptiness inhabit you? You bring something home, thinking you will store it in that bare corner of the attic. But for some reason that corner is off-limits. You don't understand why. It unsettles you when you climb the stairs and see that big empty space. It wasn't always that empty, was it? Emptiness arrived through the window. Look at all that space above the tiny landscapes we attempt to shape. That's where is comes from. From space. Emptiness blows through the window. It takes and takes. It takes a life you once loved. It chased everyone out of the photographs. It eats time and drinks the fall of light. Emptiness forms the one last great continent. Don't worry about zip codes or time zones. We're just continental. I see you folded on the staircase. How did your hands get so grey? There's no air on either side of the window, you said. And we have such a long way to go. And we're tired. And someone cancelled the name for each day of the week. And it's illegal to sleep. And we can't remain here in this breath without a permit. So we continue our effort to navigate these corridors and stairwells with a map indicating no landmarks and no directions. And I don't know if that fog bank in the next room is a destination or something we just escaped.

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