The heart stirs at the sound of a motorcycle—speeding—broken noise coming through glass. I tell myself that, maybe, after enough practice, the stirring will understand the breath, or that the breath will instruct the stirring to understand that the motor of the engine eventually rises like a flag, eventually reaches the summit like a hiker. The breath rocks the chair. I remember my mother when I was a newborn.
The body becomes a buzz of a bee, and the heart a dying motor.
The rocking chair swings back and forth and to and fro as the old woman hums a tune popular in her youth. The table in front of the rocking chair was placed there to keep her from falling face first, so it would be table first and tables are not usually the first things we consider when we’re falling unless it is at least from the second floor our bodies are falling from. The old woman rubs her knees and she remembers the tune was from her high school dance, or a dance she wasn’t able to recall what the occasion was but she was sure it was special. The sun rises.
When people sleep, they undergo stages without their knowledge. People slip into a state where the abyss exists and anything can fill it: a painting, a landscape, skylines. The void consumes without permission, without warning, and people fall into its trap because they need it. Their system shuts down, like a device, except devices don’t have the will to plug themselves back on when they’re ready. But who is to say people can? A body at rest can sense light with an awareness of the world that surrounds them.
People can also be shut down, and shut down for eternity, even when they’re ready to plug themselves back on.