Your eyes are sweeter than honey. I remembered them once. A drifting vestige of sensation, a cause of laughter, a comforting silence. Chamomile Gray, the colorless void before sunrise. An echoing image in between.

Her hands rise to her own face, cupping her own cheekbones, reassuring herself of their existence, and they are so surprised by their own rigidity that they draw back, retracting with all of the substance that was her, corporeal, permanent, ontic in their departure, flying downward only to fall up again.

And shirt collars were so unfitting, the way they would ruffle and frame, holding a transient image. Cotton embracing flesh embracing bone embracing a heart. Gathering and accepting the end like a kiss, a caress of air, a breath of chamomile gray. Crumbling like a paper tea bag, betiding her own little heart.

The drawing room disguises itself in steam as it would white powder, cheekbones shaped like tables, desks, and chairs; its windows carved into the wood like eyes, leaves rustling from an unblinking wind. Flowers? Sweetness, sugar to the taste. Permanence? Is she ontic in this memory, or does it evaporate with the water? Undying, always, an indelible feat of imagination.

The morning falls over the windows in clouds of silver. Her fingers tap the edge of the cup, the sound of snow falling over a bell. The coldness of metal – or is it glass? Seasons pollute her mind like cream and sugar and the world, once vivid, becomes a clouded chamomile gray, a swirling tundra in the bottom of a tea pot, pouring onward into her quaking, quaking, quaking, trembling, clattering hands.

All eyes are Darjeeling brown as they rise to meet the portrait on the mantel, with its cotton shirt collar, chamomile gaze sweeter than honey, its cause of laughter, its comforting silence - Chamomile Gray, the colorless void before sunrise - an echoing image in between; the bell freezes in its place, because a moment of stillness perpetuates the meaning; -

"It was like this all along."