Coffee in hand, I head to the window and stare clear into the dead blue heart of winter frost. I think of breaking free of everything which strangles my bones and I can taste the cold of the wet streets on my tongue. Solitude. The exquisite mercy of it. The massive crows in the yard have been shouting at each other all morning. I’d like to scream myself but I haven’t the energy and the house is so quiet in its carefully laid peace. Like a teetering tower of fine porcelain cups and saucers stacked high into the dusty domesticated air. Like a terrible secret whispered against blank halls. Something in the way the light moves shadows across the floors sends shivers down my spine. I have been a shadow, fixed and immobile, for so long now. Woman of shadow, creature of splintered complicated light. Swallowed my dead blue heart into my stomach like a stone. I imagine a touch which never materializes. A slow coaxing stroke at the throat which would cause my mouth to move so I could speak what is killing me. And then they would finally know the truth, that there is a sadness which never leaves. That even the shadows mourn.