Not much, it says. It’s pretty airtight down here. What are you, drowning or something?
I am, I say to the breath. I have been drowning for hundreds of years. It has been a slow and painful birth.
Very well, says the breath. Let me get to work.
It starts chipping away at the dreams I’ve stored and finds jagged little baby teeth, rusted with hope. It plucks them away from the raw lining, one by one.
You no longer need these.
I nod. There are no questions here.
It then takes the palms of its soft hands and spreads them along the walls, gently and slowly, like the hands of an old clock that have stopped at 4pm on a Saturday afternoon. Something that should be spongy and porous is braided so tightly. A series of lights flicker in the wall—a spasm, a spasm, a spasm.
You seem to be storing away supernovas, it says. Blasts of fear that have nowhere to go.
I do not respond. I stare into the darkness. The breath kisses it all, gently, and watches the very last of those dark fires settle into its own belly.