the heat creeps in and infiltrates everything, vampiric, the humidity as dense and smeared as shoegaze, the blank unflagging sepia scene a corpse tarp of cruel indifference. each infinitesimal rattling breath is polluted and i taste the poison going all the way down; it fills my lungs and ossifies my heart, coats my insides with heavy black tar, weighs me down like age and regret. I am drained. I am glass-eyed I am discordant I am dyspneal I am a stranger somnambulant. steaming pool of sloughing skin and blood and ash, succumbing to the smog and sulfur, my mind has become decoupled and fled. I am hungry but have no will to eat. I am fatigued but have no interest in sleep. has it been now three years or three thousand in this stultifying unreal city, mired in the dust and mud, deaf and mute and twisting eternally alone in this insidious fever? and yet I think there must be others here, each laden with our own karmic debts and sisyphean burdens, all of us blinded to each other by the corruption and heat shimmers as we stumble toward some lantern-light mirage of health.

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