a + 7

Chapter 3 

Antxro wakes as they always do, with a mouthful of light. Ready to spit. Antxro opens their mouth and sunlight pours through the space between their top and bottom teeth, the teeth 7lmend most likes to lick. 

Quiet, it’s morning now. Everything quiet except the shriek of light leaving a mouth. When the sky is lit with the sound from Antxro’s mouth, the trees lit, the pinestraw underfoot lit, 7lmend lit, Antxro’s mouth belongs to itself again. 

“Is this the place?” Antxro asks 7lmend. “Near enough” 7lmend says, and shakes off the pollen left by the demon of smallest sleeps. Antxro slept but feels the scrape of 7lmend’s sleepless night behind their left eye. Antxro wants to suck the feeling from 7lmend. Empty them out and fill them with soft mossrot and the edge of a river to soothe them. Antxro swallows and thinks of mysteries instead. “my love for you & that for me deep down in the Purple Plant the oldest dust”. “The difference between chaos and star I believe.”

 Antxro and 7lmend continue on through the town towards the shape of a god not near enough to touch. There is rain but it doesn’t fall. It hangs suspended inches above the tops of everything. Hovering. Full of itself and a hundred thousand watery stories. Everything in the town takes on the shape of a god not near enough to touch. Corners, buildings, people, stones, shadows, flower stands, monuments all begin to soften and slip into the curve of themselves. It becomes hard to see. 7lmend whistles to feel the shape of the air coming back to them. The whistle bounces off the sloughs off the shatters off the shapes. It comes back around. Antxro and 7lmend find the narrow corridors of breath and move towards them. 

Time moves through the breath of the town and everything else. 

The town breathes and the rain falls. Antxro puts out their palm and is surprised by the coolness and wetness of time against their skin. They slip their hand into 7lmend’s pocket. 7lmend’s pocket changes shape to become a glove. Antxro’s heart changes shape to become a pocket. 7lmend slips their hand into Antxro’s heart. They find the pencil, and use it to write a corridor still narrow but wide enough to walk through. Antxro and 7lmend leave the town this way. 

The rain stops. Slick. Metal. Quiver. Damp. 

At the beach, feet in the water, Antxro asked 7lmend for the names of five things that are near enough to touch. 

“ache, pencil, a cocoon like the sunlight, sorrowsong, rope” 7lmend said, and that’s when Antxro stopped waiting and began. Linden the lyrix had already begun but began again too. A lyrix is a hiccup in time, which is what makes them so beautiful.