I no longer feel the heat on my back; the heat that stung, tingled and dissolved into the sound of the ocean that wasn’t there. A wisp of my fringe blows in the fitful wind and I should feel the tickle as it dances across my cheek, carving spirals in the layer of sand deposited there. The grains of sand forced up my nostrils have clogged like sticky rice in a sieve and no air rushes to my head now. I am numb to the padding in my ears and there is no one to speak to me, to call me back. My skin is being eaten, melting into wells and becoming moats around the dunes. As I lay here, the trenches swallow me and the dunes become mountains that I will never climb. I am diminishing, my silent screams falling on deaf ears, being whisked into a whirlpool of regret and heat, forbidden from ever landing on top of the pile. Instead, I leave my corpse because it has become too cumbersome in this furnace; my limbs are baked, my heart charred and only my soul is light enough not to be reaped by the scythes of glass disguised as solid sand, dangling over me like icicles from the overhang of a precipice. I’m falling, falling, up into the sky and beneath me a snake traces SOS in the sand. The air is cooling, damp and I am calm, coming to rest on the finest wisp of cloud. I am no longer fighting for breath. I wonder; do I see camels crossing the desert with brightly coloured rugs slung over their backs? I wonder; what story will they tell when they find me? A sudden gust lays a blanket of dignity over my rancid carcass. They’ll never find me.