bali blew. a small explosion. locals said it was a thousand years in the making. you are only 26 and the sky is coloured dead. the moon is hidden. a mute gray enters my mouth. what am i to say now? you are watching the heart of the earth, listening to it tell an old tale through crumbling rocks: do not disturb the universe of the burnt. your hand is cold against mine. you say how this is it, this must be it. i whisper among the thunder without lightning or rain that i cannot do this anymore. the ashes spell out a response, and the mushrooms bloom before, during, after. was it here on this trip when you told me you never liked them anyways? you would always space them to the side of your plate, no matter the meal. i never noticed. now your bag sags. now the packed chips must be melted. now you lick your lips with the incoming black and step forward into the little bit of swimming sun left to light this world.