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Too hot to sleep, too hot to lie awake. Aching to slake the sort of thirst that doesn’t respond to the ingestion of water, only to lying in baths of it, cold. Nowhere freezing in the bed, that thrill in autumn and spring where your foot curls, encountering the edge of a tundra by the right corner. Only heat, as if the whole world were set over coals.

The dim light and the persistent friction of my hair against my back. We have all given up on clothes, hot dinners, bedtimes, narratives.


My writing is curdling like milk. Perhaps I need sleep, or the Scottish hills, or those anticipated thunder storms that they promised us and which have themselves, lazy with sunbathing, failed to turn up to work. I require the bang-crash-rain-cool-calm that breaks overhead.

I do not know how the characters encounter each other. I barely know how I look in the mirror, loud-faced in the thickening heat.

And so to sleep.