The Un-god

There came the word: the man with statue hands will not dig. In winter, the slanted roofed mouths burn because of the light. The statue man will not dig. He stares at his hands, crippled, cut. Churn: the un-god has churned again.

The island is a square, with sides that are straight. The women have hair that is straight, like long lines in early evening squalls. The long ships--shaped like seamonsters--begin to dot: this is the horizon that the un-god has churned: coughed and caught.

My land is the word.

The un-god seized. He seized the sieve. It was a sieve. The man with the statue--No!--the man is a statue. He has statue hands, he has brick burned eyes: he does not drool. No, he stares. The un-god has seized the sieve. He has dripped it into the white water, into the salt flats, into the mud hut villages.

"You live in mud huts." He says and he smiles and he has white teeth and the women smile and have crooked teeth and the children howl and the men drink. Ah: forsaken. The sieve is in the middle of town. But it looks like a strainer. It looks like a giant pasta strainer. It does not look like a sieve.

"Put what you do not want into the sieve," the un-god says.

We all put what we do not want into the sieve. But the sieve looks like a strainer. So we do not care. My pack is heavy. There are rocks in my pack. I put the rocks in the strainer and the rocks disappear. I am free. The merchant has snakes in his pack. He puts the snakes in the strainer and the snakes disappear.

The un-god gives us shovels. He says we can dig, if we want to. We want to dig. At first, we all want to dig. The sand is moist and light.

Now, the statue man will not dig. The square island is a depot for dead men and women. Dead men and women do not breathe. They have open eyes and thin skin. They have hollow thoughts: dead men and women know they are dead. We build their graves.

"You are dead." The un-god says and points. He points at the woman with the short curls, the tan dress, the flat soiled stare. She has collapsed like wet paper. The mice will eat her skin and she will know that the mice eat her skin.

There is a sign on the mainland. There is an advertisement, on the mainland, next to the theater. The sign advertizes our island. The sign is next to the theater. The sign is next to the church. There is a church in town.

"We bury the now dead." The un-god says, has said--writes, has written.

The sign is green and gold and says that we will bury those that are dead. But now the statue man will not dig because he says his hands have turned to cracked marble, he says his stance is uneven. He says he sees Hades.

"But it does not matter," I tell the statue man. "We do not believe in such places." I shake my head. This folly, I think, and continue to dig. The statue man looks like marble.


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