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PROLOGUE, by Jojo Rita

A moth died in the window above Clydes head. Upon waking, he cracked his
neck and stared down the hallway to the kitchen sluiced with shadow. It was nearly 10
am. What long shadows the house spat onto the walls!
This particular morning, Clyde chose yogurt and coffee for breakfast. He
wondered about commotion (misplaced commotion, that is, which he had experienced in
small gusts as in the perimeter of an oscillating fan rattling on a sill. An astounding
reality ate at his musings, and an equally astounding realization emerged: If destruction
consumes itself, it destroys its own purpose, which is to say ceasing is the most essential
component of ruin) and swallowed a bit more yogurt. Heat slicked a small oscillating fan
on the kitchen sill.
It had been 200 days since Clyde had shot anything putrid into himself. The taste
of heroin, bitter and languid, wet his throat on hot days. Though 200 days had worn his
resolve to that of a gaping shoe sole, nothing could be done to aid in a relapse. His house
to the very innards of the city was burned dry of vivid highs.
Clyde dressed and shaved. With no water running from the taps, he left peaks of
shaving cream in the sink and trails of the stuff along his jaw.
What magnificent heat awaited human life outside! In observing the small
Wildfire from the large window against the south side of his house, Clyde tucked his lip
under his teeth and frowned.
Down a block, a car clattered to the ashen shins of the asphalt, burning. He
understood he could succumb to a fire similarly. Indignation dies with resignation.
Windows are like mirrors, Clyde thought. The window agreed.