Manual for Decommissioning

 The boy sat in the deepest hours of the night, when the outside air was cool enough to be breathed without a respirator. 

 Here was the city’s heat sink, where the uniform air conditioners met the ocean. The sea was on its last term of service, lapping against the quiet hot metal, the evaporation seeding clouds like pollen caught on updrafts.

 He threw away the photos of his family members here when one died. A face became a brief spark against the hissing steel, until the waves tore the flakes out into the wash. Today, he carried none. He sat on the railings, his mind clear, and counted the stars in the dying sky.

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