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Nariai » Kerry Shawn Keys
Almost Invisible

  Sunlight billows into her room half the day long as it should. Sometimes leaves are falling, and the light skitters between the leaves to get in. When the leaves aren’t falling, still nimbly attached to the branches of the birch trees, the light then gently flutters among the leaves and around the branches, and enters the window fluttering, and flutters on the carpet and wall dancing with its partners, the trembling shadows. She watches the spectacle on her wall from her bed, and at a certain time she knows the dance will end, though that moment of time mingles with the time of the day and the seasons, always changing. A leaf falls on her bed. Another on the windowsill. Then on her. Another time will come when only the shadow of the branches and the broken light will dance on her wall, a much slower dance through the moisture on the window. The leaves will carpet the ground in yellow and brown. Then she will wait for the moonlight to come into the room. Earlier in late summer, the apples in the apple tree shimmered silver in the moonlight. The bark of the birches also silver. The apples now have all fallen or been picked and eaten, given to lovers and children.

            She gets out of bed and stands framed in the window as if in a Hopper painting, looking out at the empty branches, the windows across the way, a few visible stars, the moon. She shimmers silver in its light like a glass of champagne at a wedding without a bride or groom, and she sees her face in the windowpane, a nimbus of air covered with drops of water, almost invisible, delicately attached to the darkness as the moonlight slithers across the branches of the apple tree and the birches.