In childhood I had encountered Yaldebaoth: an emission of sleet. The shale contained the image of a god: head and torso of silver flecked blue, elongated eye, bulbous beak which tapered to an arrowhead, beige stump of a wing.


I felt that he put me down because I dealt in the manner of a Jew. He held my hand to be less clean than one forced to bring drink or food to his sort. It did me no good to resent the hoard that had been condensed into his craftsmanship.


Her life had become too scattered to collect. Even spite failed to assemble a coherent figure from such material. There must have been little choice but to damage all that had been made for herself. I did not pretend to contain her: at once woodland and mermaid eyed.


I considered her to be a sort of prophetess. She might raise her voice or dance in silence. The lit red room and open market merged for her. Once she confronted me on my route home from the shop: both smiled when I met her adrift in her nightdress on the pavement.


Of course she had guessed that I contained the abyss. There was nothing for me to do but clutch at her as though I meant to hurl her aside. I knew that her dialectic would reveal me to be hideous and worn out. In the end I made desolate the friendship that could not be transformed.


I tried to begin my mission among the dead. The angel beside me let my skin unravel: bone dropped from bone where I stood. It did no good that she withheld herself. Still I turned upon her. Fuck it. Fuck it. I did not follow my nature.