Achingly cold and crystalline, the mountains are clean against the sharpest blue. A blue so brilliant it cuts my eyes. Colourful ants crawl up in circles. My fingers burn white as I watch. The watery winter sun jumps off every surface, sparking until I can’t see a thing. Breath spirals up and disappears like smoke trails while I wait.
The robotic yammer of a crow wakes me. I lie still and listen a while. There is a space where you should be. For a moment softness, like a dream, lingers warm. Too soon it diminishes, ebbing gently away, leaving my body pounding.
And too soon she crawls to me, sliding down the walls and winding into my ribs. And she sits there and she doesn’t leave and so I carry her all day. She slips behind my eyes and she coils in my throat.
I wander loud floors and hushed rooms, but she never quite leaves. I explore caverns of books and think of what you might like. I think of easy things. I think of abstract things, but she colours all thought and she coats all the words. She knows she was right and she likes to win. She watches me viciously. She whiles and waits, she needles and practices.
But there is an odd peace to be found in not moving.
There is a quiet relief in calling off the chase.
And the days stay dry and bright.
And you aren’t coming back.
And she’ll remain a reminder.
And soon it will be spring.
And soon I’ll put her away.