No Other

The foundation had been laid.

And then.

Another.

Impact. The walls shot up.

With one word, the walls. But the damage was done. The foundation, cracked. Her, trapped.

Repairs.

 

Within the walls she paces. She traces. The seam under her feet.

The walls are permeable. She listens through them, her ear pressed flat against the concrete. Impact, over and over, until she backs away.

But walls, she says. There was more than just one word.

Another, respond the walls. Another, another.

But walls, she begs. After another!

No other, say the walls. Only another.

No other, she hears.

And she fills in the seam, and waits.

And she sweeps the floor on her knees, and finds a corner no one sees, and hides the dust in the grates.

And she waits.

 

Walls, she calls. Has anyone come?

None, say the walls.

Not one?

No one.

And she waits. Because there were more words than just one.

She thrashes, crushes her chest against the foundation, inhales from the grate.

Weeks pass.

One comes.

Another! She hears over the walls.

But when? She asks. When arrives no other?

But one has already gone.

 

She bolsters the walls, weathered and worn.

With her own fractured bones.

And hides the dust in the grates.

Months pass.

She lies in a heap on the pristine floor.

The walls this time call.

Your bones will shatter under such weight. Take them back.

But walls, she breathes. You will fall. I do not need bones, but walls.

And the walls lean heavily, and the edges of her bones turn to dust.

 

And she sweeps and she sweeps to maintain the foundation.

Waiting for no one beyond the walls.