The Transposition of Names, Faces, Places and Things

I awoke to find myself in your room today. It was a corner space, as if at the back of a cramped office space. I could not follow you there however. You were moving too fast. We were still friends, it would appear. We were in college housing: I had come to visit you because the light in my room had gone out. We spent some time together that night looking for light bulbs. In fact, we were both there in college housing and in your cramped apartment.

You retired to your room more quickly than I could follow. I stood behind because I could not bear the mixture of yellow and white. The flickering iridescence of the halogen bulbs. The steadily blinding whites of the LEDs. The pock marks of the autopista leading away from the capital. When I finally caught up to you, and we were together in your room, there was talk of dates. The filing cabinets climbing upward. Names. An antibiotic that could only treat for anaerobic bacteria.

You were almost nude on the bed. You lied there in your underwear. The filing cabinets stopped just short of reaching the ceiling. Some of them appeared affixed to the walls, as if by mounting brackets, to prevent them from tipping over, as if their top heaviness could bring them crashing down at any moment.

Your bed was an alcove among them. You were lying in repose. Above, at some distance, the letters began: A-Ab, Ab-Ac, Ac-Dq, Dq-Dr, Dr-Eb. I was arrested by fear. I was nervous and could not bear to ask you if these were the names of your past lovers. I was afraid to look and to find myself among them, to be found among them, to be neatly filed away.

In a state of breathlessness, my anxiety grew so as to consume me. It seemed like your body there fed on and inhaled the vacuity and the silence, the airless air, your resting place, this empty cocoon, barren and unyielding. The room suffocated and began to collapse inward, an exhalation without end.

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