Finally even the winds find themselves bored with picking through the rubble and turning up nothing worth keeping. Whole buildings sprawl on the ground like men who, grown tired of years of standing upright, make up their minds right then, on the street, to crumble and stay that way forever, the one choice that can’t be stripped from anyone: to collapse, buckle under, give up. People wander the streets because they don’t know how to live if they aren’t expected somewhere, or if they don’t have anything important to do. Right now it’s breathing. Right now it’s making some sort of sound they can still bear to hear rise from their lips, words that make sense as a girder is lifted off a crumpled child or they sift through ashes for a missing brother. This rocking back and forth. This wailing kept up till it has a life of its own, until it could almost be a song. The mouth once more daring the lungs to deny it this basic right, daring the air not to fill with what’s flung into it: shrieks, lamentations, curses. The mind and body still working together even if they can’t make sense of what has happened, making sounds in the throat, singing to a world, even if the world can’t sing back.