Archive > Vol. X no. Z
I sense the restorer’s eye, probing. Even down here, the heatless base layer, he raises my temperature minutely. Perhaps he can smell an undertow in the stairwell between varnishings. Am I foxy, or something that catches the throat — like bog-myrtle? The ghost fish in a word meaning dry land? Opaque layers above me admit nothing blue. I stay afraid my life is stitched to them, an anchor. But I long for water’s memory. His gentlest tool is sailcloth; if he finds me, it could fill the chasms where I can’t connect, patches where my fabric’s brittled, the tacks corroded. It won’t restore what’s gone but I would live the ocean, slap of wind. Cut my ties. But I know he won’t let me escape myself. He stares and stares into my rumor because I’m wanted intact. He has other tools — tweezers, dental picks, clamps, droppers, scalpel. And the one I most fear the tube he could snake down through every layer push through my nose, burn my throat, hook me alive in wordlessness. This desert.