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Lying in bed, blanketed in darkness, you are the saddest king that ever ruled. Light does not come through the shade; the sun neither rises nor sets. Your hands are folded on your chest and you wish most, maybe, that they could speak – to remind you of the beautiful bodies they’ve touched, explored, and ruled; to tell you how your armada once stretched across the seven seas; to bring you back into regal robes where you belong.

Instead they are silent as the moon in the dark. Outside the chamber, your daughters are running amok with razor blades and heart-attacks and your wife is practicing the trick of how to disappear. In the mornings, while you dream of locked cars and planes that leave too soon, she stretches her body further and further; she unhooks the bones from their sockets and pulls ligaments until she finally escapes to turn perfectly two-dimensional (when I walk by I can see right through her: hair, intestines, little girl heart, cage for the ribs…).

Then you have no dominion over her -- King of Three-Dimensional Things, Father of Flesh and Law, Keeper of the Fires that Rage. You lie in bed and give orders to the ceiling and tell the moon which way to turn while your heads hurts and no one comes in but the cold night air.

Except: there is a knock in the darkness. Prince of Clouds, Ego-Eater, Patron Saint of First-Person, I stand over your bed and at first you do not speak, but I say something and so you risk a word too, and then another, and one more. What happens next will not be rec orded; I did not come here to strip you bare -- I offer protection fromwhat will one day take us both. Together we let silence be the blanket as we wrap ourselves against the things we cannot control, and the night, and the shining, deathless stars.


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