This wall’s my gnomon. I know the shadows
like I know my own hair: texture and shade.
How long I can leave it loose before I bind it.
Midday. Midday I shut my doors and drop the
blackout blinds. The cuffs of curfew expand
with this contraction. All screens – wire, glass –
can be set as ectopic filters to outside. In our
animated world there is no beauty in passivity.
Tell me again there is no equal beauty in
movement. Tell me also how much isolation
atrophies the mind, or don’t tell. Do not tell
while I plan for my moon garden along the
remembered expanse of my walled off ground.
Allow the strike of yonic time, the shedding
crimson velvet lining, the oxidised tint of a
waxing moon earring. I would rather, just
now, stop saluting the sun. I want none of
its vital nutrients, the seduction of its burning.
Would rather not have Surya’s inexhaustible
followers strike their agenda of docility onto
my field, these clean and sober rooms I fold
into. A nation of shadows churn under my
landlord’s fan, troubled by light from another
source. Here I am. A single guest remaining
by the grace of apathetic fate. Where do I stow
my chappals; what cup of clay do I drink from?
Where should I pin my clean bill of health?
No one comes down the outside hallway. No
one touches fingertips to my door. No one
suspects how I move about inside. No one
turns with such determination from the sun.

Kathryn Hummel (www.kathrynhummel.com/@katscratchez/friendswithdrinks) is an Australian writer, mixed-media artist and multidisciplinary researcher.

Featured image: Tiachen Aier/Unsplash