The serpentine chains enclose her chest. The empty frame before her in the blackened room. There is nothing to see, but she sees. She wills her eyes to see. And so they do. The thick of the air frames her face. Close. She feels it on her skin. Are her eyes open or closed? She no longer knows. There is no light. But she remembers. And so her eyes project onto the frame. The black inside moves, and she sees. A twisting black that rests with the close of her lids. Silence.
Does it move? She wonders. She knows it does. And so she sees it move. It fills the frame with movement, and so she moves.
She reaches for the movement.
And the chains tighten.
She blinks, and the movement stops. The frame she cannot see, empty once again.
And she is alone.
She stands on the ceiling, she thinks. Or maybe not. It doesn’t matter where she stands. She is not matter. She is not. She does not.
She is not standing.
The chain and the frame, and nothing else.
But she sees again. Wherever she stands, the frame is before her. Is it? There is no space. There is no depth. But there are both infinitely. Indefinitely. Definitely.
She looks into the frame, knowing it is there. Knowing where to look. Out. Ahead. There. Through. ?
She knows it does but cannot see it.
She looks again. Strains. And sees it move.
She reaches, but does not move. But she reaches. She knows she reaches because the chains tighten. She is paralyzed, and yet she reaches. Like she sees, she reaches. She feels it in her chest. Her lungs have shrunk. Her heart has lowered. And she tries. She tries what? She tries. Tries. Reaches.
It is moving. The empty space within the frame is moving. Within. Without. Thin.
The air thins. But remains black. The chains loosen.
She reaches forward. Outward. Inward. She reaches. Her lungs expand. Outward. Compress inward.
The frame moves down. She feels it. She does not see. The chains tighten. Around.
And wrap around further. Closer. Tighter. Further.
She doesn’t feel the cold of the metal, the hard of the link. She doesn’t feel.
But she feels the movement in front. Does she see it? She thinks.
Why does it stop moving? Does it stop moving? She reaches. She wants to see. And so she reaches. Silence.
She needs it.
The chain tightens.
If she would just stop reaching.
But she can’t. In the empty frame she sees the movement that she needs. And so she will see it in the still.
In the absence.
In her presence.