µ π {0} > ∑ ® ∫ ∑

Kevin Kaiser


Even in the shadows it is night. Especially in the shadows. The streetlights shine like stars. They are stars, from this perspective. The stars are holes. We look for god in its white room. Sometimes the stars flicker, and we think this is god passing. But there is no way to be sure.

We are the only forms. Streetlights do not exist, nor do stars. Nor a god. We do not exist. We only imagine we do. Because we both need the other to exist.

We invent love so as to love each other. Because we love each other, we must hate. Because we must hate, we must destroy. We destroy each other, and in the loneliness of our destruction we are reborn. Upon rebirth we destroy hate and keep only love. Because we can no longer hate, we annihilate each other. We become stars, streetlights, holes in the night. Daylight drowned out by streetlights. We are each other’s shadows.

When you lost your voice, you called my name. My name was an empty question full of silence. God was in my name. The sound of god in my name is this silence. It is the loudest of sounds, for it is eternal. Oscillating in tremolo, it rings in the echo of absence. This is the sound of god, snoring.

A butterfly dreams it is god. When it flaps its wings, it sprinkles stardust. The stars reside on the wings of the butterfly. The butterfly is a city. No one can see the stars through the streetlights. A city asleep dreams it is the universe. Its wings are lidless eyes.

God opens its eyes: did it dream the butterfly or did the butterfly dream it. Was it dreaming or is this the dream? Is there dream, or is it only the blinking of an eyelid?
My name, lost in your throat. You choke on its meaning, and it cries out, tinny and hollow. The name is your own. The voice is mine. We do not speak the same language. Our bodies beat the same. If we remove our skin, we will see just how heartless and bleeding it all is. Souls perish in such exposure, swept away in solar winds. Dissolve in the ether. This wind howls our names. Silent and humming.

The ocean birthed the moon. This is truth. Each wave that crashes against the rocks is the sound of illusion. This too is truth. To love without desperation is the only kind of love, for it exists without longing. It is impossible to reach, and when one reaches it, one will drown, because there is nothing to grasp onto.

When god talks, it speaks in waves and winds. Butterfly wings. Cityscapes like night skies. God has no idea what it’s talking about, just rambles on, babbling endlessly. Blah, blah, blah, we say. Shut up, god, we say. We are talking to ourselves.

Each breath we exhale creates the universe. Each breath we inhale destroys the universe. We created time to locate our selves. Time became life and mortalized us in immortality. We never died and so can never be born. The forms we become are only becomings.

You say a word, and it sounds like another. I say the word, and it becomes what you have already created.

When the butterfly speaks, its tongue unfurls like a city street, leading us up to the luminescence of its eyes. These are the streetlights. The city is the butterfly, not merely its wings.
God watches from its eyes and flashes signals like Morse code. You believe it is sending an S.O.S., but if you watch long enough you see the break in the pattern. The language it speaks is not our own, so we can never know its meaning. Its meaning is not the flash of light but the darkness between the flashes.

The butterfly is not a butterfly at all, nor a city, but a moth darting towards the single bulb of light that is the moon, which is merely a reflection upon the sea. The illusion of illusion. We shall drown together, like drunken poets who attempt to embrace the moon. Our souls will wash ashore on comets, our bodies upon an island, volcanic and pregnant with flame. Flame, you say, is the most ancient and darkest of lights. Our shadows flicker in this light, are the most ancient of shadows. These are the ghosts we were, the spirits we shall become. We are always becoming. It’s a tiring thing, this becoming.

A moon in full is cosmic confusion. It glows amber on the horizon and begs for your smile. Sometimes you confuse it for the face of god. These are my loneliest nights; moon like a sun, the day implied. Your absence bound in your presence.
I yearn for a sky I’ve never seen. Blue skies are a thing of fairytales. Fairies get a good laugh out of this. That is to say, the moths. That is to say, we must remember: none of this is. All of this is. The emptiness of emptiness.

The first words should not have been so concrete. The first words were meant to confound. The point is not to ground but to disorient. They are looking to be grounded, you say. They are looking for concrete.

Smash that concrete. Expose the sky. It is night in the shadows. The shadows are everywhere. We are swallowed within them. They are dotted with starlight. The city is the universe. The universe is the butterfly, dreaming. It is a moth. If they are looking for something to plant their feet in, give them abstraction. Let them fall through. They will never reach bottom. There isn’t any.

This is the emptiness of emptiness. Not that abysmal emptiness that swallows tears. No, this is the emptiness that moves like god. If you watch closely, you can see it pass through those holes over there. Little pinpricks for light. City lights, they called them. But we know the difference between starlight and city lights. Between light and dark. Between night and shadow, butterfly and moth. Between the moon and fingers. We know the difference; there is no difference at all.
All is so small. Never is so long.

No one wants to hear this. No one wants to hear that rainbows are black and white and that night is the rainbow. Colors no longer will be bound by order. Violet will not follow indigo, indigo will not follow blue, blue will not follow green, green will not follow yellow, yellow will not follow orange, orange will not follow red.

Red jostles for the place before violet. This is the same place. It dislodges time. Time takes the place of place. Place takes the place of emptiness. Emptiness claims to be god. God claims to be emptiness. Blue and yellow push green out from between them. A tree grows, recalls brown. Its branches descend into earth, its roots into space. Space claims it too is god. Emptiness and space cannot occupy the same being at once. God forgets it is being and becomes thing. God reminds itself it never was being and has never had a self. God is only the memory of a single moment. Meanwhile, orange and indigo dash to opposing corners of the universe. Orange is the day, indigo the night. They are both mistaken. They are only gradations of the other. They are the grey of loneliness, the gray of ecstatic coalescence.

A color known only to butterflies appears. The moth devours it before it can be seen. When the moth flutters its wings, it sprinkles the dust of this color upon the blank and vacant universe, each particle drifting off like forgotten phosphorescence.

A lot of talk about god’s grace. The grace is rather ungraceful. Grace is choreographed, of course, but it defies the coordination they expect. Spirals and points, explosions and implosions, dark matter and the gray matter of light born from the brain of god, which is nothing more than god’s thought of its own nonexistence—these steps, poses, movements cannot be marked. They are as immeasurable as moments.
A moment does not want to remember or forget.

As if it were quantifiable: all this everything. Drunk off starlight, we throw rocks at the streetlights and know that we can never know the existence of day. We cannot see it, cannot hear it, cannot sense it in any way. Nor can we imagine it.
The moth flaps its wings and shrieks, a meteor streaking forth from its mouth. It crashes into a planet, leaving a dent and cloud of dust that mushrooms up like the forgotten history of an implosion.

I search for you. I’ve somehow managed to lose you, despite us being one, as we are one with the city, the moth, god, a color. A moment, a tower. A breath, the moon. A voice.

The more I begin to sift through these things, the more I lose. I single them out, and in singling them out as separates I lose them. Is this how I’ve lost you? Or perhaps it was not I who lost you. Perhaps you have lost me.

We birthed each other, moons born of our oceanic bodies. Bodies oceanic in their boundlessness. The liquidity of our love.

Where you could have gone to: unimaginable. Where I am: no place. No location. We are neither outside nor inside. Neither up nor down. Neither left nor right, nor north, south, east, west. There is no place to begin looking and so no place to look. There are no places.

When I believe I’ve lost you for good, you burst forth from a flower.

Overcome by emotion, I eat the petals as you water me with your joyful tears. It was all a dream would be such a horrible ending. We love this butterfly and its shadows. This moth that will eat a color like a moment. A star, a streetlight… A word, a…


God, it does not end.