She sleeps in the folds of the sheets on the bed. Isn’t she dressed in oranges? She is dressed in the smell of oranges. I can breathe her when I can’t see her. I see only a leg only an arm of her. A room of shadows and of those shadows a faint breath of music where friends move. So-called they choir and call but may be ghosts. They have no touch. She cannot touch them. Music playing kills their voices. Their mouths open in mime of speech but what she hears is the melting of glaciers. Their mouths open in a roar and a crackling and sometimes a tinkling a glimmer a gold of a sheet of ice falling away. She pulls a fold of white sheet one way she moves a leg it’s not white it’s an equatorial river mouth poured out on glacial freeze. I’ll listen to her dreams they’re full of a music of purity melting into a muddy melancholy. She’s a river of sleeping a fluid in the white folds of the sheets. No one sleeping is a solid. Now there are voices the mouths are no longer mime. Someone says the tea is ready and someone says it’s too strong. Someone says you licked the spoon. Must love the licking. Honey on steel held out to taste. Tongue finding a salt sea in the folds of an ear. Warm lavender behind the knee. Oranges. Oranges. Leaves of the rose that was only an image and tastes of acetate. Frills and folds of sudden salt of an urchin’s inside. She wakes a little more and I’m more she. Someone says the toast is ready and there’s the smell of burnt and marmalade. Contorted folds of rind scraped along a half-blackened surface. There’s a thing that can’t be undone. Whatever it is to darken a surface. Whoever values a clear stream a white expanse looking over delta swamps whoever prefers to go unburnt. Under a pile of fabric we hear her breathe and not wanting to move she approximates dreaming. She stays in the dark where all the light is and she remembers crawling across strong tufts of grass. I thought that was only a game she thinks and a game is only a dream except the bodies are real. The senses are perfected when they’re not limited by living nothing is image it’s all smell and warm sun. It’s all an orange broken open. That visible burst of fragrance. I tell her reality plus dreaming isn’t better than the two together held a little bit apart. Reality is tidal and irresistible. Someone says will you get up are you getting up today and she does not say no. Us two together not one plus the other I will keep wearing oranges today she’ll be able to remember. She throws off the fabric and exits the folds. Every day the air is so unfamiliar.
Aaron Boothby writes things similar to poetry in the gaps between making and spending money while living in Montréal. Current projects include investigations into schizophrenic literature by way of a deceased Belgian poet. Recent publications include pieces in Axolotl and The Puritan.
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