Detail from Birds Over 5th by Tim Frisch

Kylan Rice

From Tangelo

But how must we act now? The stone sank out of sight, known as silence, known as grief. The ripples of cranberry on ciabatta, on wheat. I opened my hand partly to expose the dermis. A tendon refracted or made convex. I was spitting pits onto a platter; the flesh going nowhere. Have I been the only one to suffer? Admittedly, I could still control or adjust temperature, firmness, or support. The cranberry came anterior to the turkey which came anterior to cream cheese. We learned later that leather was the opposite of translucence and vice versa. The difference between memory foam and honeycomb is that one is ajar. No one blamed us, it wasn’t our fault. To thresh, to thrash. Either you die from it or you watch it die.

It was an accident. Inevitably, the ambience became progressively less and less flesh-toned. A nautilus, of the new pretzel variety. The new garlic parmesan. A pita. A strata. Pushed back into our mouths, into our ears, until we could no longer sympathize. Was collapse the best word? Was it a storm or a set theory? A set theory, or, a glissando—implying the constitution of a simple syrup. By the time I noticed I was bleeding, there was a noticeable humming sound. From the bushes, from the telomeres. A scar that is plastic in the sense that it is in flux. Necrosis is both intermingling and degradation. In other words, there is the feeling of something between us and in between everything else. A bird is inherently intermittent. There were no other options. We were supposed to feel not less connected but more.

There was less than an hour left. There were teeth-marks—more than seemed normal. I’d lost the hand that brought me here. On the other hand, an axiom was a “decoded flow.” You could not aggregate a fruit basket without causing it to change in nature following each new addition. I close doors softly or not at all, as doors are cumulative, too. Similarly, décor has no real boundaries—we are seeking a kind of periwinkle, something to match the tile, the curtains. By simple subtraction and rotation, dew has stopped beading along an axis. By the same token, we’ve become less focused on brutality and more on choices. Regret is something you have to experience alone. Real time can sometimes be more soothing than colors.

It was not quite fatal. Dayquil, Nyquil: nothing exists alone. I was then at that point trying to disassociate myself from fashion. I had the option between a saline spray or an antihistamine. Either way, the pollen would reiterate itself. It was like an epicenter. There were these purely entropic intervals known as gap years. In nature, the “hum” is fundamental. Likewise, the “knot” can be fruitful. It is time to worry when a syringe is being described as “sidelong.” The wolves were outnumbered almost two to one. “Game” was another word for “plush.” A retina was a sense of anticipation, a patina, an iris was the given space of our choosing. There is just a forest floor: another kind of order: a deer in a mirror. An aperture through which less light passes. What you recognize is your life. A vigil can last as long as your life.

How long can such immanence be sustained? A bird’s a brimming then a scram. I was microwaving the brown sugar so that it would soften. Simultaneously a crystal will reverse and destratify itself. This is known as sympathy, stoichiometry. Denim presses sacrum to sacrum. To calve is both to give birth and to slip away into warm and warming seas. Every cipher conceals both an emergency and an activity, both a logic and a ligature. A fire that occurs in reverse is known as a sequoia. An interior that becomes a lawn. Only when they’d gone did we emerge and decompress. A gift exposes itself. Redder and more raw underneath. I found myself redistributing some of the raisins back into the cereal box. After all, there is tomorrow to think about.