Early summer, languor of an afternoon. Light’s varied seep through willow branches. A few white clouds levitate, drifting leisurely—baroque fragments, architecture crawling from one version of the past into another. Wind tips the extra rocking chair on the porch. The sun construes each leaf. A double shadow in the flowing grasses dapples and intersects. The shadows are almost the same size. One, of a dragonfly; another, of a prop plane. No one’s around to spoil the mood. I cocoon in my thoughts. In fact, I have no thoughts. A pause, a vast parenthesis. My fainthearted attempt at phenomenology fails: I stare and stare and yet the eye seems prismed by its anamnesis, the globe of everything I’ve seen before. I drink my bourbon, which is watery by now. The day’s a radiance into which items dissolve, a years-old Polaroid that’s fading out. The pages flutter in my book from which I’ve been distracted. So, I put the book down—its cover is erased by glare. A small trapezoid of pure intensity. I look away. A tropism in my vegetative state, a settling of fleeting phosphenes. I hallucinate a faint afterimage, a benign obscurity, as pleasant as it is dull. A blur of insects patrol the hedges. Maybe wasps; maybe only scintilla. I sit here, examining things until they take on a papery flatness, half exhausted; become effigies, appearances, mere colors, not even surfaces really but lucid and immaterial spots, flickers, gleams, washed-out penumbras while the solar warmth nestles in my skin and I endure the lassitude, the unfettered emptiness of time.
Will Cordeiro has work published in AGNI, Bennington Review, Copper Nickel, The Threepenny Review, and elsewhere. Will won the 2019 Able Muse Book Award for Trap Street. Will is also co-author of Experimental Writing: A Writers’ Guide and Anthology, forthcoming from Bloomsbury. Will co-edits Eggtooth Editions and lives in Guadalajara, Mexico.