Counting Moments

Four

You watch the dead TV set to a faint buzzing from above. The TV is yours, the couch is yours, closet, blankets, specters, cabinet—yours. Books that fill the shelves that fill the walls around the room, your spectators arranged in a silent coliseum. I couldn’t breathe your air. I couldn’t hold mine.

Three

My mouth opens and your words drift out. I prepared them on your time. The words shock the air. It parts and collapses like thunder. The smell of cigarette smoke, salt, and dust from removal, premonitions lingering like the absence itself after disappearance from yours.

Two

The paint looks paler, as if the walls could remember four minutes before, when I was yours without four minutes of my own. A second passes and someone laughs, close enough to crowd your space, clear enough to cringe. I exit your silence, your door. Your shadows on the curtains.

One

Outside the air is mine. The weight of this night is mine. The pavement where I wait, I alone possess for these four minutes. Almost nothing yours remains. Your smell will fade in four weeks. Four weeks of mine is enough for now.

Zero

The End

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