There is no way of knowing. There are certain boundaries. You can hold your palms against the wall and feel the pulse of the water. Loudspeakers in the trees, in the tops of the towers, a low electric hum which scared the insects. Bodies with gold in their throats. Eight years we've been at the outpost, searching for an enemy which has not yet found us. Armies in the tide. Sift the algae which collects in shallow pools when the waves rush back. Clay and sand in our hair, our clothes. Cut the ladder from beneath the guard so as to leave no temptation. Visions of moyak spin out across the water, steps we have not the form to make. There must be absolutes. The time has come to make a decision. The guard begs us for help, for pity, for an axe-blow to fell his perch. There are small shelled animals which live in the gravel, but we know not how to catch them. On good days we find rotted fish washed up on the sidewalk. We listen for guidance, for any god's voice we can trap in our loudspeakers. Astronauts crossing time as others do space. Obliteration of Chronological Objective Time, we once read, and pretended to understand. Days it takes to cross the room. Harvest and sift. The guard has stopped screaming. Laws which cannot be broken. Definitive standards. Spired cities built of sulfur and quartz throb and pulse across the water. Leaving the flow. Abort the arrow. Center of the sphere, where the sphere inverts. To be everywhere and present at all chronological points is to escape time. Circle inwards, spiralpsychosis, capitulation which annuls movement. The algae is dying. The sea is empty. There is a thing greater than all things. Echoes like hints in form and motion. The wind stops. The stars hang frozen in the sky. A voice comes over the speakers.

the exit is hidden within the exit