The cough near lifts him off the ground. Dislodges a deep chunk of something. Like an ice shelf dropping into the sea, much faster than expected. Tries to spit but it's all strings. Between his fingers. A child's game that tells a story if he could only remember the correct shapes. Wiped on his leg. There's a town below the window and he can't remember when he last stepped out. If he's allowed to. If he could make it down the stairs. It's all he can do to catch the pigeon feathers that sink from the rafters and to dream of the ocean beyond the buildings. All this gunk inside him, but never enough wax. He still works away. There's sun out there. Open sky. He could take it in both hands. See his boy again.
Charlie Hill